Seligman police restructuring provides more consistent coverage

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Change puts officer on duty 7 days a week during peak times

The Seligman police force was recently restructured to provide more consistent coverage for the community and retain officers.

According to Terry Burgess, Seligman police chief, Aaron Kyser, a previous part-time officer, moved into a full-time, 45-hour-per-week salaried position, and Fernando Ortega retained his current position of 30-hours-per week.

Instead of three part-time officers, the city now has one full-time officer and one 30-hour-per-week officer, in addition to Burgess.

Burgess said the restructuring gives him an officer on duty seven days a week, during peak times.

"I think it's more consistent coverage," he said.

In May, Burgess said he wanted to offer one full-time position with benefits for the purpose of retaining officers.

"That's the goal: officer retention and a stable figure to the community," Burgess said. "Because with part-time officers, as soon as they get a full-time opportunity, they're going to try to better themselves, and I don't fault them for that. The whole reason for the change is to help retain officers."

Burgess said the change brought a savings to the city of about $100 per week.

Due to Seligman's border-town, rural status, Burgess said, such towns statistically tend to have elevated crime rates because suspects can hop back and forth to avoid arrest.

Along with its regular duties, the police force is working on developments from older burglaries.

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