On Tuesday the city board gave Police Chief Shane Edwards permission to bring on a fourth reserve police officer. Chief Edwards plans on asking the city board for a fifth at the next regular meeting.
The chief says he and another officer are the only full time employees on staff, so reserves have been helping the force keep up since the recent resignation of Police Chief Jess Calvin.
“We do have at least three reserves that have been working, basically, full time hours for us,” Edwards said. “They’ve really stepped in and helped us out at this time.”
Edwards, a nine and a half year veteran of the Laurie Police force, was promoted to chief after Calvin, a twenty-five year veteran of the force, resigned.
Calvin left citing stress from an ongoing conflict over the chain of command and the role of the mayor. Edwards says the transition has been somewhat challenging.
“It’s going really well. We’ve had some minor bumps in the road. I’m learning as we go.”
“There’s some administrative things that I’ve had to learn as we go, but everyone has been very helpful. I’ve made some contact with other departments. Basically, the Missouri Highway Patrol has helped me out a lot with where to send certain types of paperwork. That’s been the main thing.”
Since Calvin resigned the city mayor has been added to the chain of command in the police hierarchy. The city has also revamped the city police manual and changed out all of the police computer systems.
Chief Edwards says his department is moving right along.
“Everybody in my department has been extremely helpful and willing to do what they are being asked to do. From here we’re moving forward. We’re all going to move forward as a city.”
The next regular Laurie board meeting is Wednesday, June 14th.