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EL police major focus of Civil Service Commission

EAST LIVERPOOL — The city’s Civil Service Commission made the newest patrolman hire permanent during Tuesday afternoon’s meeting.

The board’s two members, Sherrie Curtis and Marisa Galeoti, made their April temporary appointment of Jacob Talbott permanent effective May 21. With his appointment at $24.19 per hour, Talbott was given credit for his previous law enforcement service.

Jacob Talbott, who had worked previously for the department, had been put temporarily on the force back in April, and the department’s next most recent hires also received pay hikes approved by city council in May.

Council had increased rates for entry-level certified patrolmen earlier this year through a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the patrolman’s union.

Non-certified officers (or those who have not completed their Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training Academy) still only earn $10.80 per hour; however, due to the elimination of next tiers, certified patrolmen start at $18.47, more than $3 more per hour than previously.

The hope was to make joining the East Liverpool Police Department more enticing, as the starting wage for surrounding departments was so much higher. Liverpool Township starts their certified officers at more than $20 an hour, while Chester starts their officers with a $37,950 annual salary – both with benefits.

As an update from last month’s Civil Service Commission meeting, members announced that they had received a written explanation from Police Chief John Lane explaining why the previous list of entry-level patrolman test takers didn’t generate a hire. According to the May 11th letter, Lane said the previous list failed the background tests.

Still on the topic of the police department, Chief Lane’s request for another promotional exam for captain, so the department could “provide a standing list for an acting captain or fill a captain’s position if one would come available.”

Curtis and Galeoti agreed to hold for the captain’s test but not right away as Lane, who was absent, wished. “The last captain’s examination only had one applicant take the examination (despite six patrolmen being eligible.) Currently the number of eligible patrolmen is four; (however,) two additional officers will be qualified by November and December.”

According to documentation provided by Curtis at the meeting, senior patrolmen who would be eligible for the test now would be Steven Adkins, Jim Krawiec, Rob Smith and Chris Green, who still is on paid administrative leave. Jesse Smith and Justin Watkins would qualify to also test in November and December respectively.

In other action, the Civil Service Commission also accepted the resignation of Jordan Gibbs from the city’s fire department to take a post in Howland and transfers of four other employees within city utility departments. Chad Bryan transferred from the storm water department to the water department effective May 17, while the other three job switches (Jim Lisk, Nathan Martin and Jacob Davis) happened May 7 within the water department.

The next Civil Service Commission meeting will be held at 10 a.m. July 6 in council chambers.

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