SYCAMORE – The Sycamore Police Department could soon have a police sergeant tasked with fostering more community partnerships and initiatives within the city.
The Sycamore City Council this week unanimously passed a motion to approve a consideration brought forward by Police Chief Jim Winters that would establish a Community Resource Sergeant position for the city.
In a letter to City Manager Michael Hall, Winters wrote he proposed the new position to ensure consistency and maximum effectiveness of initiatives and partnerships with local community groups, businesses and events.
“Such a position within the department would effectively facilitate strong and consistent relationships with various groups, as well as ensure other community related functions are professionally managed,” wrote Winters.
Speaking during Monday’s City Council meeting, Winters said the position would be helpful because of the amount of events the city of Sycamore hosts throughout the year.
“You know, 20 special events we get into the planning of car shows, back to school bashes, Tuesdays on the Town, street dances, Pumpkin Fest and everything else, it really takes away from the operations position,” Winters said.
Winters also said the Community Resource Sergeant position could help with creating robust policy management and maintaining the Sycamore Police Department’s accreditation.
“I think there’s a lot of different moving parts to it, but really the goal in establishing the position is to kind of bring it all under one umbrella so there’s consistency in it and there’s nothing kind of being lost in the gaps between personnel,” Winters said.
Winters said the budgetary impact would be about the same as hiring one new officer who was then promoted to sergeant. According to Winters’ letter, city finance director Brien Martin reviewed the police department’s 2023 budget which showed the impact of hiring a sergeant community resource officer would be “minimal.”
“An analysis of the past five fiscal years reflects the department has been under budget each year due to vacant positions during the hiring processes, grant funded awards and consistent management of budgeted funds,” wrote Winters.
Third Ward Alderwoman Nancy Copple asked if Winters already has anyone in mind for the position. He said because it’s created at the sergeant level it would be opened up to any current sergeants.
Winters’ letter said the timeline for establishing the new position is dependent on the time it takes to identify and hire a replacement for the current officer who steps into the Community Resource Sergeant role. Winters wrote that the creation of the position and subsequent backfill is the next step in a multi-year strategy to ensure the department is staffed to provide the quality level of service the community desires, while also providing support for current police staff.