PTC Chief resurrects plan to ax 3 captains
The Peachtree City Council is being asked to revisit a proposal to eliminate three of four police captain’s positions in a newly-crafted “reduction in force” and reorganization proposed by Peachtree City Police Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark.
Clark wants to sack the three captains and add two patrol officer positions, the latter of which would only cover two of the department’s four patrol shifts. The proposal will be debated at Thursday night’s City Council meeting, slated for 7 p.m. at City Hall.
The goal of the reorganization is to “minimize support personnel and maximize those positions that deliver a direct service to the public,” Clark said in a memo circulated to council Friday afternoon.
Eliminating the three captain positions will save the city approximately $330,000 in salary and benefits, while the cost of adding two officers will be approximately $124,000 in salary and benefits, Clark noted in the memo.
The city also recently filled a brand-new assistant police chief’s position at a salary of $91,011 a year, which when added to the two new officers proposed by Clark would cut the savings of eliminating three captains’ positions down to $115,000 a year.
The proposal cuts the office of professional standards in half from two personnel to one. That office handles internal investigations along with accreditation supervision, media relations and supervision of the training of all sworn officers.
The reorganization would segment the department into three divisions instead of four essentially by merging patrol and investigations into one “operations” division, with the other two being administration and the one-person “office of professional standards.”
Under the latest reorganization proposal, the operations division would be headed by a captain, who would report to the newly-hired assistant chief of police, according to Clark’s memo.
Merging patrol and investigations will allow for the department to “respond quickly to issues with greater manpower available,” Clark wrote in the memo.
The change also places two patrol lieutenants as supervisors over two separate patrol shifts, whereas the current department structure has lieutenants overseeing one patrol shift each, supported by a sergeant.
Clark does not detail in the memo any specific instances in which the department came up short on manpower to respond to any emergencies.
The concept of eliminating the three captains’ positions went over like a lead balloon in May when two of the captains, Rosanna Dove and Michael Claman took their case to the City Council. Dove noted that while City Manager Jim Pennington had estimated the cost savings to be close to $400,000, nearly all of that figure would be wiped out but the new hires proposed for the reorganization.