Beloit police hopes to increase staff

Beloit police hopes to increase staff

Beloit police hopes to increase staff.

From Beloit Daily News:

BELOIT — The Beloit Police Department hopes to increase the number of authorized sworn officers from 73 to 76 if a grant application is approved.

The Beloit City Council on Monday approved a resolution to apply for the 2016 Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Grant.

The Beloit Police Department was authorized for 84 sworn officers in 1995. By 2009, the department was authorized for 77 officers, and by 2013 it was authorized for 72 sworn officers.

In other business, the city council passed an ordinance pertaining to possession and use of illegal fireworks. The ordinance will give the police officers the authority to cite possession and not just use of such fireworks.

Previously, the department could only respond to calls of fireworks being shot off and cite individuals who were caught in the act of firing them. Now, under the ordinance change, possession of those fireworks will also be an offense that could lead to a citation. Molland said the change will allow officers to more effectively do their jobs this coming holiday and beyond.

Examples of fireworks that will be considered illegal to possess in Beloit include bottle rockets and Roman candles. A complete list of illegal fireworks will be developed in the coming days in conjunction with the Beloit Fire Department. Molland said the ordinance was not a change in law, but it gave the department the same authority to enforce existing state statutes against possession of certain fireworks that the state already had.

The grant, if approved, would cover the salary and benefits for the three additional positions for three years.

The Beloit Police Department currently has 66 sworn officers due to recent retirements and departure of officers, but Captain Dan Molland expressed that present positions are accounted for already. The remaining spots were to hire Lieutenants and to provide supervision and accountability for the patrol positions.

For full story, visit Beloit Daily News