WESTBOROUGH – Chief Todd Minardi wants to introduce new initiatives to the Westborough Police Department.
Topping the list — adding a patrol lieutenant, and introducing the rank of corporal to the ranks.
During the annual budget summit on Thursday, Jan. 25, in the Forbes Building’s Great Hall, Minardi explained the reasons behind the request.
There are currently five sergeants that cover all patrol shifts.
“They are some of the more senior members of our staff, and they have more vacation and time off accumulated,” he said.
Minardi said that last year alone, there were 900 hours in overtime just filling supervisor shifts. He said the addition of corporals would help trim the amount of overtime.
In addition, the new rank will give patrol officers a chance to get into a supervisory role.
“It’s the first step to supervising,” he said. “They would get on-the-job experience.”
Minardi said he had wanted to make this addition for some time. “It’s more and more important to have supervisors,” he said.
Minardi added that the changes would come from within the ranks. Should the change receive approval at Town Meeting, Westborough would be among a handful of communities in New England to have corporals within the police department.
“I know other parts of the country have corporals … in 30 years, I haven’t seen many departments with corporals. It’s not the norm.”
The request would have cost $53,000, but Minardi managed to find funds from other sources within the department, so the request has been reduced to $29,500.
Minardi said he considered some alternatives, such as a “force in” policy to maintain coverage, but that could lead to bigger problems, such as morale or performance.
Another part of the reorganization plan would be to create a day-shift lieutenant and a 4-12 patrol lieutenant, in order to provide command staff level coverage.
The reorganization is part of a Performance Improvement Request within the Police Department’s operating budget for fiscal 2025.
See the Public Safety budget documents at https://www.westboroughma.gov/1166/ FY2025-Budget-Documents