Fritch City Council votes to restructure police department

Tom Hinde

The Fritch City Council voted to restructure its police department. Currently, the city budgets for two full-time, two part-time and four-to-five reserve officers. The budget also includes "a large amount" of overtime expense. City code specifies reserve officers are not paid.

New City Manager Drew Brassfield stated reserves usually are not paid positions in other cities. Typically, reserve positions are pro bono since municipalities carried their Peace Officer license according to Brassfield. "I don't see having a reserve program when the existing police department can handle it," Brassfield said. Mayor Kelly Henderson stated the council had been told have the old reserve officer structure would save the city money.

The new restructuring would bring the police department to 3 or 4 full-time officers and a police chief. Further discussion settled the matter with keeping 4 officers to allow the incoming new police chief (the position is currently open) time for administrative duties and working with the public. The council heard further information on police staffing for other like-sized cities. The new structure would mean two officers will share a vehicle.