By Jeff Gallatin
North Olmsted safety officials have announced one police department promotion and the hiring of two additional officers with expectations of bringing in at least another two by midsummer.
Safety/service Director Scott Thomas said Lt. Ron Cox, the current detective bureau commander, will be promoted to captain in early June to replace Mike Kilbane, who is leaving this week to become the chief of police in Independence, Ohio. In addition, he said the department has made conditional hires of two officers this week from its current list of candidates, which was compiled from the test given by the department earlier this year. With Kilbane’s departure and the two new officers coming on board, the department will have 43 officers. Thomas said he expects two more officers to be hired from the candidates list by midsummer. He said city officials also will be formally filing an application for federal funds to hire two additional officers.
City officials had planned to fill three current open positions, but moved that up to four when Kilbane tendered notice, so he could become police chief in Independence June 3. With Kilbane leaving and Cox moving up to captain, the city will have an opening for a lieutenant. Thomas said the city does not have a current promotion list for lieutenant, meaning a test ultimately would have to be given for any interested sergeants to fill that open position, and that a sergeant’s test could be required as well to fill that position whenever a sergeant is promoted.
Thomas said the city’s first priority is finalizing Cox’s promotion and getting the new officers hired.
“Ron Cox is a good officer, so I’m sure he’ll do a good job as captain,” Thomas said. “We’ve needed to get some new officers in here, so we want to get all the new officers on board as quickly as possible.”
He said both officers being hired from the candidates list this week have already been through the police academy.
“That will enable them to come right in and begin their department training,” Thomas said.
He said with two candidates being hired, the city will need to certify additional people from the candidates list.
Police Chief Jamie Gallagher said the two new officers will get field training from different officers as well as learn about the city.
“It’s normally about a 16-week process where they go through the different parts of training,” he said.
Referring to the federal funds request, Thomas said it’s from the COPS program, and would have federal funds pay for 75 percent of the officers’ salary and costs for three years. He said notification on that request likely would not be until later in the summer.