Police chief to seek an additional officer to the department
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — Police Chief Marty Skibba is seeking an additional officer for the department, and a request will likely be sent before council sometime this summer to do so.
According to Skibba, the department has been at 44 officers for quite some time now, and compared where numbers should be in the community to a similar population, Superior, Wis. holds a population of 25,000, yet has 58 officers. Skibba is looking for either city or federal funding for this addition.
“I, for one, am supportive of petitioning the personnel committee for a full-time police officer,” said Police and Fire Commission President Gary Westcott during the meeting. “I always commend our leadership team and police department for how aggressively they look for other funding sources; I don’t want this one contingent on that. …We are long overdue to make that kind of small investment in this community.”
Such an addition to the force would serve as a drug officer, according to Skibba, in the continued effort to quell the rise of methamphetamine and other illicit drug use in the area. In total, the cost of a new officer with training and equipment adds up to approximately $86,000.
The request could be made as soon as July.