MILLBURY, Mass. — Millbury Police Chief Kenny Howell sought the backing of the Board of Selectmen Tuesday as he works to restructure the police department, a process which will begin on March 10.
Howell asked for the board’s support in the hiring of additional personnel and the creation of a lieutenant’s position, which will allow the chief freedom to spend more time with the public and officers on the street.
The department will be split into three command elements, a Community Patrol Operations Division commanded by Sgt. Donald Desorcy, a Professional Standards and Training Division commanded by Sgt. Stephen McFaul and an Investigative Services Division commanded by Sgt. Brian Lewos.
Furthermore, the town will be divided into two districts, east and west with the dividing line running along Route 146. Each of the districts will be commanded by sergeants, which follows along the Community-Based Policing plan that Howell has been behind since his time with New Haven Police.
His plan is to have his sergeants work day shift with him and to bring on another sergeant for the 4 p.m. to midnight shift. The lieutenant position will be outside of civil service and have to be approved by the annual town meeting.
Perhaps the biggest position to be filled will be a school resource officer proposed by Howell.
“School safety is paramount,” he said. “I have four kids of my own and would feel safer for my own kids if we had this school resource officer."
In other business, Town Manager Bob Spain will present the town’s annual budget on Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.
Right now the town is facing a budget shortfall of $300,000 to $500,000 based upon the Gov. Deval Patrick’s budget numbers, Spain said.
Spain spoke with Millbury School Superintendent Susan Hitchcock and discussed two different town warrant articles, totalling $278,000, that may be spaced out over two to three years if the situation calls for it, Spain said. The two warrant articles deal with technology and books the school district is seeking.
Spain also said the town is now in deficit spending on snow and ice removal. The past storm, while dispatching much less snow, still put a strain on the DPW because of the duration of the storm forced trucks to salt, sand and plow for nearly two days.
The next scheduled meeting is slated for March 12 at 7 p.m.