Amherst police add staff sergeant

Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - Amherst's police department is about to grow by one.

AMHERST - Amherst's police department is about to grow by one.

Increasing pressure on management and administration has led Amherst to add a staff sergeant's position to the police department.

The position was included in the town's 2007-08 budget that was brought down last month.The position represents about a cent on the tax rate.

Deputy chief Ian Naylor said the department has been asking for a staff sergeant for several years and he's happy that council has determined it a priority.

"The management of the operational side of the department have increased over the years and we've reached the point where it just can't all be done by the chief and deputy chief," Naylor said, adding the new position will be filled internally with an officer being hired to replace the successful candidate.

It's hoped the staff sergeant will be in place by October.

Naylor said the staff sergeant will assume some managerial responsibilities from himself and chief Charles Rushton while he or she will also be active on the operational side by assisting in investigations.

The new position will enable Naylor and Rushton to improve efficienices within the department by conducting audits on how the service can be improved. Changes to the Police Act and downloading of services by the province have increased the workload of departmental administration.

"It's a combination of things. Things have added up to the point where one or two people couldn't do it all. The goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our department," Naylor said. "By efficiencies I mean are we getting the most done with the resources that we have and by effectiveness we want to be able to show that what we're doing is having the effect we want it to whether it's reducing crime or creating a safer community."

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