WALTHOURVILLE, Ga. (WSAV) – The Walthourville Police Department is in need of more officers to help patrol the community.
The recently appointed Chief of Police, Jerry Blash, said he inherited the small staff but he’s working on a solution.
“It’s a little stressful…We have like three patrol officers and myself and we’re trying to get up to at least eight to start some specialized units,” Blash said.
Chief Blash said the lack of officers means if they are experiencing a high number of calls they have to bring in the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office deputies for help. He also added the deputies fill in for his officers at night, because the police force is off duty.
That’s one of the first things he plans to change.
” Once we get up to staff we’ll have somebody here to work 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. As well as a mid-shift staff that may work from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m,” Blash explained.
To work on one of these shifts you have to be qualified. The chief said they have a limited budget and need experienced staff.
“In larger agencies, they can afford to hire people and then send them to the police academy,” Blash said. “In a smaller agency we need people right now, we can’t afford to wait that two, three months before they get out of class and get trained and then get on the street. As soon as we hire you we need you here on the street.”
Once the department brings in the workers they need they can assign an officer to community policing. This person will be tasked with building better bonds with neighbors, running special meetings and checking on the elderly.
If you’d like to become a Walthourville officer, you’re asked to complete an application online and turn it into City Hall.