New officers join SWPD
By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Thu., Oct. 13, 2011
The South Windsor Police Department has announced the placement of three new officers, Joseph R. Futtner, Kyle Laporte and Stacy Kot.
“These are all replacements,” explained Chief Matthew Reed. “It brings us to our funded strength of 41.” The vacancies were created over the past years, he explained, with the retirement of Captain Tom Hart and Chief Gary Tyler, and the termination of one other officer.
“The officers were hired in early 2011, following a rigorous hiring process and thorough background investigation, which included physical and written exams, polygraph and psychological examinations, and medical screening,” noted public information officer Sgt. Scott P. Custer.
Laporte was hired in February 2011, and Kot was hired in April 2011. Both have graduated from the Police Academy. The officers are currently working through the SWPD’s Field Training Officer Program.
According to Reed, the FTO pairs the new officer with three experienced officers for four phases over a 16-week training period. In each phase, the new officer’s responsibility for the workload progressively increases. Evaluations are conducted every day for immediate feedback, and there is a final evaluation at the end of the program. “That’s standard,” said Reed. “We’ve been doing that for 20 years.”
Futtner has been with the SWPD as a dispatcher since December 2008. He began the 24-week training at the Police Academy on Friday, Oct. 7. Upon successful completion of that program, Futtner will return to SWPD for the 16-week Field Training Officer Program.
Reed noted that there are currently seven police officers eligible for retirement. Although the SWPD is authorized for a staff 43, the current budget only supports 41 officers. Reed would like to be able to recruit additional personnel in advance of the coming retirements, because the hiring process is lengthy and does not always result in suitable candidates. “But I understand the gravity of our financial situation,” he said.
Currently, noted Reed, the state covers the cost of the Police Academy training - approximately $1,500. He is concerned that there are discussions pending of shifting the cost burden directly to the town. The town currently does pay the salary and benefits while the prospective officer is in training at the Police Academy.
The South Windsor Police Department is now accepting applications to fill the open dispatcher position. Information may be found under the employment page on the SWPD website at police.southwindsor.org/ or by calling 860-648-6255. Applications and resumes must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, 2011.