Seymour hires full-time police officer
By Rich Palzewic
SEYMOUR – The City of Seymour has officially hired an additional full-time police officer.
After being short staffed for months, the hiring of Anthony Shallow as a police officer was unanimously approved at the city council meeting Monday, Sept. 14.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Isaac Schultz, police chief. “Anthony has good experience and comes to us with extensive training. He’s completed the necessary steps to be hired, including psychological and mental testing.”
Shallow will begin Oct. 2.
In other news, the personnel committee recommended a solution to vacation carryover time for two police officers.
“Because of staffing issues and problems associated with COVID-19 this summer, there’s been difficulty using accrued vacation time for some of the officers,” said alder Alex Tetzlaff, a member of the committee. “All their scheduled vacation time this summer had to be cancelled. We are recommending, as a one-time occurrence, for the department to be able to carry over extra vacation hours.”
The current contract says a maximum of 42.5 vacation hours can be carried over from one year to the next, but because of COVID-19, that amount was increased to 60 hours for two officers.
“It comes to 35 combined hours to be carried over,” Schultz said. “With more than three months until the end of the year, most of the officers will be able to use and burn their time with what’s scheduled thus far. I spoke to all the officers about using their time, and it’s about availability compared to convenience. Instead of asking for 100 hours, I thought 60 was a good compromise.”
The recommendation needs to be approved by the collective bargaining unit, but Schultz said he’d like the time to be usable for all of 2021 and not put a cutoff date on it.
“It’s just easier to give the two officers all of 2021 to use their time instead of saying it needs to be used within three or six months,” he said. “It’s a nice gesture. With us being short-staffed for so long, the whole department chipped in – changing from day shift to night shift and putting in more time.”
Tetzlaff said the officers need to be commended for their hard work.
“Hats off to all the officers and Chief Schultz,” he said. “The next time we come into contract discussions, we have to be cognizant of the changes they’re willing to make. They’ve done many things to help save the city money.”
The city is also deciding how to use $55,000 in CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Securities) Act money.
“So far, the city has used $3,500 in CARES Act money,” said Alder Ryan Kinney, also a member of the finance committee. “We’re looking at purchasing an air conditioning unit and heater for the fire department – we are getting quotes on that. We’re also looking at buying some virtual meeting equipment.”