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Study reveals officers’ desire to get away from mundane calls

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 11:28 p.m. CDT

CARY – Officers within the Cary Police Department expressed a yearning to respond to fewer mundane calls and do more traditional police work, a police department analysis revealed.

The Village of Cary hired REM Management Services of Lansing to conduct an operational needs analysis study of the police department to help determine the most effective methods for providing law enforcement services in the community.

The 10-week study, which included personnel interviews, was budgeted for up to $15,000.

One recommendation offered by REM Management is to revisit the command structure to see if a chief, deputy chief and five sergeants are needed. The village also should determine if vacant officer positions can be replaced with community service officers.

Laurence Mulcrone, a principal at REM, said if an officer retires, he or she could possibly be replaced by three part-time community service officers who can handle mundane calls.

There are officers who reported having to deal with mundane calls, such as dog barking complaints, writing parking tickets or handling motorist assists.

“Because there’s no one else to do it, they respond,” Mulcrone said.

He added officers would rather be doing crime suppression or prevention activities.

In recent years, there have been multiple changes in the command structure in terms of the number of sergeants and chief positions, and officers don’t know if there is a chance for upward mobility, Mulcrone said.

“The issue is they want to know what are the chances of promotion, and if there aren’t, I’m OK with that, maybe I’ll do other things, I could be a detective ... maybe I’ll be a police trainer,” Mulcrone said. “From the officer’s point of view, [it’s] ‘Where am I going in the future. I don’t know if this position will be available in the future.’ ”

He added there is a need for more tactical training and use of force training to help calm down people.

The village also should develop a strategic plan for the police department that would identify the top priorities and develop a single document for all department rules and policies, Mulcrone said.

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