Seven new police officers are joining the Flint Police Department. They are the first of 10 new hires being paid for by the public safety millage voters passed in November.
The new officers have been on the job since last week and the city is planning a recruitment drive to hire three additional police men or women.
Eight candidates total made it through every qualification, but one decided to serve elsewhere. A statement released by the city stated that the hiring pool of qualified candidates was somewhat limited because of state requirements.
Officer Kevin Smith, the acting president of the police union, said that while any addition to the Flint police force is a good thing, it??s misleading because three of the vacancies the officers filled were due to previous retirements. He said that leaves a net total of only four new officers.
Smith said the millage should be able provide about 50 new officers.
??The citizens in the city of Flint are hurting,?? Smith said, ??and they reached in their pockets for the biggest millage in history to put police officers and firefighters on the street and with the promise of getting additional help and a net gain of four with $5.3 million seems to me like they are getting short changed.??
Flint Police Chief Alvern Lock said that the department plans to hiremore officers in the near future.