The West Point Police Department now has more officers to assist the department with patrolling the streets, responding to incident calls and keeping crime in the city at a minimum.
On Tuesday, The West Point Board of Mayor and Selectmen approved a motion for the WPPD to hire five new auxiliary officers with adherence to the personnel policy the city currently has in place.
Eric Dixon of Tuscaloosa, AL, Ezekial Randle of West Point, Charlotte Ann Poole of Hamilton, Jarvis Boyd of West Point and Jeremy Bell of West Point were selected as the new hires. Interim police chief Bobby Lane gave the board letters of recommendation for each of the five applicants, sat in on all the interviews and said these five will make great additions to the police department, which had a big need for more officers.
These officers are required to relocate to West Point within 90 days before beginning their assignments, as the city's personnel policy states that any city employee must live within West Point or Clay County. Ward 2 selectmen Homer Cannon said it is unusual for individuals to relocate to a new city for an unpaid position. Lane said all five auxiliary officers understand well that the positions are unpaid, and Lane said each one is still willing to take on the positions. Lane said a few auxiliaries were planning on relocating to the West Point/Clay County area even before they applied to become an auxiliary officer.
Auxiliary officers perform duties such as traffic controlling, patrolling, transporting prisoners, securing special events and issuing tickets. These officers do have the power to arrest just like full time officers do.
Lane said the reasons for hiring auxiliary officers are “to assist regular officers and help work at public events, to give the WPPD a list to hire from within and it reduces the cost of paying overtime to regular officers.”
Each auxiliary officer will attend the Columbus Auxiliary Police Basic Training School beginning this July. Lane said it costs about $300 per officer to attend the training school, but the police budget does allow for the training of these officers.
Lane said the WPPD is in the process of hiring five more auxiliary officers.