The Town of St. Paul is hiring a Supervisory Community Peace Officer to help with bylaw enforcement and community education.
The new position brings the total number of peace officers in the town up to three.
In an interview after the meeting, Mayor Maureen Miller said the decision to hire an additional officer was in direct response to feedback from the community.
“We heard very clearly from our public as to boots on the ground. This is definitely an active role. It’s a supervisory role within our community peace office. We investigated many options, as the community knows, we ran that down the rabbit hole as far as we could as to what would be the best opportunity for our community. And we have chosen then to add an additional community peace officer,” said Miller.
According to Trevor Kotowich the town’s Director of Protective Services, the additional position was already included in the draft 2021 operating budget.
Coun. Nathan Taylor was initially against the decision, citing the need for a pay grid to be developed. He withdrew his objection when Kotowich said the existing community peace officer pay grid would satisfy the position.
A motion by Coun. Gary Ward to approve the recommendation and hire a supervisory community peace officer carried.
Miller said the reason for the new hire being a supervisory role is because the existing officers are so busy with enforcement they don’t have time to do the planning and programming needed.
“We’re looking for somebody who can actually get programming together and have the ability, that has that expertise and that knowledge to get programming together and to initiate different avenues within the process that is happening right now. So we need somebody that can create all of that,” said Miller.
Asked what specific programs the new peace officer would be focusing on, Miller said Kotowich has a lot of great ideas but the focus would definitely be education.
Strategic plan tele-town hall moved to Dec. 3
The telephone town hall to discuss the Town of St. Paul’s strategic plan is being moved to Dec. 3 because of staffing challenges for the company that moderates the public engagement.
That company is located in the United States and anticipated most staff would be unavailable for the originally selected date of Nov. 26, which is American Thanksgiving.
There will also be some changes to the way the engagement for the strategic plan takes place. Instead of registering ahead of time like for the policing and waste management town halls, Town of St. Paul CAO Kim Heyman said they plan to publish the number for people to call in.
“I think that’s simpler. It’s straightforward. I think we’ll probably get less people in the strategic plan than we did for policing, but maybe they’ll prove me wrong,” said Heyman.
In addition to simply publishing the phone number, Heyman said the town plans to get a jump on the engagement process by posting the strategic plan to all of their mediums.
“Under each of the pillars, there will be a couple of questions about that pillar, so we get a little bit of Public Engagement ahead of time. And then during the town hall, one or two counselors will take a pillar and address the questions that were posted,” said Heyman.