Morris adds two to its police ranks
By Sarwat S. Ahmad Correspondent January 25, 2013 3:30PM
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:35AM
Morris is building up its police force with the addition of two police officers.
New Officers Tristan Borzick and Mark Vanderploeg were sworn in recently by Mayor Richard Kopczick at the beginning of the city council’s regular meeting.
Both were hired by the fire and police commission from a list of qualified candidates after taking physical and written tests.
Borzick and Vanderploeg were the top two performing applicants who also were certified as police officers. Both have had at least two years of police training on other forces.
This saves the city the cost of basic recruit training and also will shorten the amount of field training the officers will need, Police Chief Brent Dite said.
The city has lost about four officers in the past five years through attrition. The new hires bring the force up to 24, but Dite said that he would like to see it back up to the 26 officers it had in 2007.
In other news, the council approved the purchase of three more acres of the former Federal Paperboard property for $150,000. The seven aldermen present voted unanimously for the purchase. Alderman Ken Sereno was absent.
The city attempted to purchase this portion of the blighted property previously for $400,000 but was rejected, said Alderman Bill Martin, who is chairman of the finance committee.
“We seem to be going in the right direction,” Martin said in response to a question by mayoral candidate John Brooks about the increasing expenses shown in the city budget.
In 2009 the city had purchased about five acres of the property for $136,582. It sold about 1.25 acres to Habitat for Humanity, which now has a new home on it.
The city has no plans for the new land purchase but will be working on it, Kopczick said.