Reduced staffing on the Storm Lake Police Department will cause several program cuts or postponements, according to Public Safety Director Mark Prosser.
Over the summer, one officer retired and another resigned. Last week, a second officer gave his resignation and another was called to active duty with the Air Force Reserve to serve in Turkey.
The department is working to fill all three open positions by mid to late November. Because new officers will need to go to the Law Enforcement Academy for training, it is expected that the patrol division will not be back to full strength until late spring or early summer of 2002. The slot for the Air Force Reserve officer will be held open for him.
To ensure that public service levels and response is maintained in the period of short staffing, the following actions will be taken, Prosser said:
*â€ The school resource officer will be transferred to uniform duty, but will still serve in the schools as much as possible.
*â€ The DARE program has been cancelled for the school year. It will resume in fall, 2002.
* The Officer Friendly program is cancelled for the school year, and will resume in 2003. DARE and Officer Friendly coordinator Pete Erickson will be on street duty to help offset the vacancies.
*â€ The Citizens Academy education program that was scheduled to begin in February will be postponed to February of 2003.
*â€ All ride-along and intern programs not already scheduled will be delayed until the department returns to full strength and new officers have been trained.
The police department has already adjusted work schedules and assignments, Prosser said, "to insure that all calls for service will be answered in the efficient tradition that has been maintained by the Storm Lake Police Department."
Any questions about the changes in programming are welcome, and can be addressed to the police department at 732-8010, Prosser said.