Last week Lloyd Police Chief introduced the Town Board to his four new hires for the department: Jesse Assenza as a full-time officer at a salary of $45,238; Jacob Nielson as a part-time officer at a salary of $21.20/hr and Ashley R. Votta and Michael A. Janeiro as part-time dispatchers, both at $18.45/hr. He said these hires will help with his roster because he has two full-timers on leave: one is out on medical leave due to an injury and another has been serving in the military for about a year.
Janso said part-time hires last about a year, “as they’re all looking for a full-time job in law enforcement. When I took over as Chief I was down three or four full-time positions, so I had to back fill those positions with part-timers [but] you could only use part timers so many hours in a week and per year,” he said. “If you go over, then Civil Service can sanction you for not following their rules, so it’s always a work in progress when you’ve got to hire and try to fill positions. It’s kind of a catch up to keep up.”
Janso said it is challenging to find and retain qualified staff, especially during the pandemic crisis this past year.
“It wasn’t so easy to maneuver through it but we’re getting there,” he said. “I’m happy we’re moving forward and we’re planning for the community’s future with the new hires.”
Janso said it might take weeks or months to find the right candidate.
“I look for what they bring to the table; what makes them stick out better than anyone else. I look for somebody who is local, who knows our community and knows our town. I look to see what their long term goals are going to be, I look at their education and their qualifications and what kind of degrees they have.”
The chief said perhaps in this day and age a psychology or marketing degree might be more valuable than a Criminal Justice degree, “because we can use that more to our advantage and something that you can bring to our police department that might make it a better department. You always look to see what could be a better fit.”
Janso said whenever he hires a full time officer he hopes to keep him or her in the department for 20 years.
“It’s a great department, It’s a great town to work for so I hope they stay here,” he said. “Some people choose to relocate or go to a larger agency for more money or room for advancement but my goal is once we get them here we train them and they want to stay here. I did and its now 31 years. There is nothing like living and working in the town that you grew up in. It makes that just that much more personal for you.”
Janso said his department offers much to someone seeking a position in the department.
“We are a very community based department and we are here for our community to do extra activities and get involved with the kids in our community,” he said. “Because we are located near the bridge you are going to come across every type of call imaginable from a barking dog to an armed robbery where you are going to get the experience...Our officers are more well rounded because they get to handle everything; crime scenes, interviews, processing arrests, so they get to do everything where in a big city PD it would get turned over to detectives to follow up on and finish. In our department we’re all hands on and don’t just turn it over and walk away. We do as much as we can and get our officers as much experience and training that they can use in their career and hopefully here.”
Janso said now that we all are on, “the back side of Covid and we see light at the end of the tunnel we can start our five year plan for the police department to grow and train to serve our community better. I want to see our community again, person to person. There is nothing like that one-to-one communication that you can have with somebody and sit and have coffee and talk about any issues you want to talk about.”
Janso said his department runs 24 hours, 7 days a week with 3 shifts daily: 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Presently the department has 30 members” 11 full time officers (which includes the Chief of Police, a Lieutenant and 2 Sergeants), 9 part time officers, 2 full time dispatchers and 8 part time dispatchers.