Plover PD Gets Green Light for Additional Officer
By Brandi Makuski
The Village of Plover will add an additional officer to its police force early next year.
Village leaders last week approved their 2018 municipal budget, which included an expense of just under $72,000 for salary and benefits of a new police detective. The addition will increase the Plover’s detective bureau to three.
Police Chief Dan Ault said the new detective will be promoted from within the department, and a new officer will be hired to fill the vacated patrol spot, bringing the number of sworn officers in the village to 20.
The staff shortage in Plover government, Ault said, is clear to administrators there even if it’s not obvious to the public.
“We pride ourselves in taking care of our employees, but we’ve always kind of expected our employees to do a little bit more. Dan Mahoney (village administrator) does the work of three people. The police department just reached a point where we had to increase our staff.” Ault said. “We haven’t added an officer since before Crossroad Commons went up (in 2004).”
Ault said village leaders have always been supportive of adding an officer, but had to wait until the village could increase its levy limit, which it did for the 2017 tax year by 2.42 percent. The increase is restricted under state law and based on the amount of new construction inside a municipality.
Currently, Ault said, detectives in Plover have nearly 20 cases on their plate at any given time. A third position will allow a faster response to new cases, and that will lighten the load on existing staff substantially.
“Patrol works their cases, they write a report and most of the time, at the end of their shift they go home and they’re done,” Ault said. “A detective never has that. You carry it all day and all night. So this is going to be tremendous for our detectives’ mental health.”
The new detective will handle the major crimes in the village along with Det. Mike Tracey, Ault said, including sensitive crimes like abuse and assault, homicides, missing persons and other serious cases. The department also has a full-time drug officer, who often works undercover.
Ault said he expects changes in the department to occur by April. The new hire, he said, will be expected to not only perform a set of job duties up to standard; they will be required to become part of the family.
“Plover isn’t looked upon as a stepping stone to other communities or agencies; people come to Plover and they stay here,” Ault said. “We focus on family here, and the village as a whole reflects that.”