Cape Charles Police Chief Jimmy Pruitt addressed Town Council proposing the addition of one, possibly two additional police officers. The CCPD has been down one officer, who has been deployed to Iraq as part of the US Army reserves.
The current Police Force includes five officers working ten-hour shifts – eight days on, six days off – 160 hours a month. One officer on day shift, one on the night shift, others are two off on a rotating schedule. This allows officers to have two weekends off a month.
Chief Pruitt noted that during the summer months, we basically have one officer on duty, while the town has swelled to 3000 people. This creates a situation that is not safe for the public or the police–one officer in a fight with one or multiple subjects raises the use of force drastically, Pruitt said.
Pruitt told Town Council the advantage of having two officers on shift is that it will improve officer and citizen safety, double area coverage, will increase police presence, provides a safer work environment (safety in numbers), and lessens workload and anxiety of officers.
The base salary for a non-certified officer is $33,000, along with 4.5 months of training at the police academy (room, meals, and tolls) at $2,500. There is also 4.5 months of payroll while the officer attends the academy. Even with a new hire, they will not be available for the summer season.
The base salary for an already certified officer is $35,000-39,000, and they are not required to attend the academy. They can start work after a short field training period (100 hours), and they will be available for the summer season.
Chief Pruitt provided these Equipment Costs Details
Uniforms: $1,000 per officer (Gun belt, Duty gear, 3 pants and long-sleeve shirts, 3 short-sleeves shirts, Jackets). Body armor: $1,100 per officer – Duty wear ($700) – Rifle vest ($400).
Other Equipment–Weapons: $900 per officer – Handgun $400 – Rifle: $500 ■ Taser: $1,500 per officer. Bodycam: $300 per officer. Computer in vehicle: $2,500 per officer. Portable radio: $1000 per officer.
Total: $47,300 per certified officer.
Town Council will be discussing these issues as part of the upcoming budget work sessions.