KINGSTON – The Kingston police chief is looking for a new officer to join the village’s three-person department, but he is facing a new challenge.
In order to fill a full-time position, police Chief Gerald Taft believes he will have to send the new recruit through the police academy.
In the past, the department has been able to hire an officer that has already attended a police academy, such as an officer who works part-time or has been laid off at another police department, Taft said. However, this time the department was not as fortunate.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people are staying in those jobs or people from departments closer to Chicago don’t want to come all the way out here,” Taft said.
The Kingston Village Board is slated to vote on hiring a new officer during Monday’s meeting, which would give Taft the green light to hire someone by late March. The starting pay for the new officer would be $15.50 an hour, Taft said.
While police academies are offered across the state, Taft has his eye on one offered by the University of Illinois in Champaign that starts April 7. The 12-week program costs $4,100, which Taft believes the state would cover.
After the academy, the new officer would return to Kingston to undergo a three-month field training program.
The Kingston Police Department consists of Taft, a part-time officer and a full-time officer.
The full-time position was vacated when officer Jason Rossi left Dec. 31. Rossi had been with the department for four years.