RIO GRANDE — Rio Grande Village Council met for its regular meeting Tuesday evening and approved the addition of two full-time police officers for the Rio Grande Police Department.
Currently RPD Chief Josh Davies is the only full-time officer with the department, including eight part-time officers. This would bring the count of full-time officers to three.
“I think it’s going to be a big benefit to the village and the community, having three people whose primary focus is to protect and be there and make sure it’s a safer place,” said Davies. “We’ll be more efficient with full-time employees and part-time. I’m looking forward to get the ball rolling and taking care of it. We’ve been efficient, and this will make us more efficient.”
Davies did not take a raise when promoted recently to the position of RPD chief, instead, the council granted him an extra week of vacation to total at three. With the previous chief, Chris Dodson, stepping down in hours and assuming a role as a department administrative assistant, funds were opened up for the potential of adding new officers, according to the meeting.
Davies said there had not been the addition of a full-time officer to the department since 2012 when he was made full-time. The village reopened its police department in 2007.
Davies will next be looking to the application and legal process of hiring his new officers and sifting through qualified applicants.
“Our coverage is not going to change, and we’ll maintain it,” said Davies of patrolling officers. “Things will work out very well.”
“We’re comfortable with Josh’s recommendation and council voted unanimously,” said Mayor Matt Easter.
In other matters brought before the council, council discussed upcoming water and sewer maintenance projects along with the potential for adding a disk golf course to Rio Grande Memorial Park and whether it may be feasible to partner with the University of Rio Grande and the Rio Grande Community College in that endeavor as a cheap means of entertainment for nearby students and families.
Dean Wright can be reached at 7400-446-2342, ext. 2103.