Cape Gazette

Rehoboth to streamline police operations

Riddle, Sullivan to be named lieutenants
By Ryan Mavity | Dec 23, 2013
Photo by: File Rehoboth Beach Police Chief Keith Banks ill promote two officers to lieutenant to help with day-to-day leadership of the department.

Rehoboth Beach — Two Rehoboth Beach Police Department officers will be promoted to lieutenant  in an effort to streamline police department operations.

Sgt. Jamie Riddle and Det. William Sullivan will be named lieutenants starting Monday, Dec. 30.

Chief Keith Banks discussed the plan at the commissioners’ Dec. 9 workshop, calling for an operational lieutenant and an administrative lieutenant.  Banks said promoting two officers would require no new officers; 16 officers are on full-time duty, and the city has allocated a maximum of 18. Banks said he is planning to hire a 17th officer.

The operations lieutenant responsibilities will include overseeing the city detective, two sergeants, two shifts of four sworn officers and 12 seasonal officers, as well as training, firearms and the quartermaster, who handles procuring supplies. The administrative lieutenant will oversee the K9 unit, two sergeants, two shifts and 12 seasonals, and will handle scheduling, vehicle maintenance, evidence and accreditation.

Both lieutenants will oversee internal affairs. Riddle and Sullivan will report to Banks, who is overseen by the city manager.

Banks said the reorganization will give Banks more time for large administrative projects: implementing the city's emergency operations plan and working with the state on a computer-operated dispatch system. The department is also set to seek state accreditation.

Banks said delegating some responsibility to the new lieutenants will free time for these projects and assist with day-to-day operations.  Appointing two new lieutenants will also allow him to train two officers to lead the department in his absence.

The police lieutenant post already exists in the city charter; Rehoboth last had a police lieutenant in 2003. Banks said when that officer left, the city chose not to fill the position although other departments of Rehoboth’s size have a similar structure to what is being proposed, Banks said.

Lieutenant positions are nonunion and appointed by the city. The positions would include a bump in pay, with Riddle and Sullivan making between $65,000 to $70,000, comparable to other towns.  Banks said Riddle and Sullivan currently make between $55,000 to $60,000. The extra money would come from funds allocated for an 18th officer, Banks said.

Mayor Sam Cooper said Banks first proposed the reorganization in May, but he asked Banks to hold off until the summer was over. Commissioner Bill Sargent asked to delay the measure until new city manager Sharon Lynn takes over Monday, Jan. 6.

Cooper said the police department is a basic city function that should be addressed immediately; commissioners Stan Mills and Toni Sharp agreed.

Because the issue is an administrative matter, no vote was necessary and the plan will be implemented at the end of December.

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