The Sunset Hills Police Department will move one of their patrol officers into a newly-created detective position, but some residents say they’d rather see more men on the streets.
The department’s roster of detectives was reduced to two in 2012. Tuesday night the Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen approved funds to move one of the department’s current officers into a third detective position. Officers would rotate into this position every few years, Sunset Hills Police Department Chief William LaGrand said. A new patrol officer will be hired, he added.
Resident Bill Cotner, however, said using the funds for a detective position was an “unwise use of limited police department resources.”
“I am not alone in believing we are seeing less and less evidence of Sunset Hills Police regularly patrolling our neighborhoods,” he told the board. He believes that their presence deters neighborhood crime.
Ken Conley also said he’s noticed patrol presence decrease in the past few years.
“I practically never see a car on my street,” he said.
During a neighborhood crime prevention meeting, an officer told him it’s because officers have picked up extra duties, like highway patrol, Conley said.
He felt that most Sunset Hills reported crimes require a patrolman, not a detective.
The department currently employs 26 officers, LaGrand said, and patrol officers try to cover each street once per 12-hour shift.
In order for an officer to be on the streets at all times, the department would need five officers per shift, Mayor Bill Nolan said.