News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2007

Decatur chief reorganizing administrative staff's makeup

By Evan Belanger 340-2442

Decatur Police Chief Kenneth Collier is proposing a massive reorganization of his department's administrative staff.

In addition to making the department more efficient, Collier says, the changes will reduce the department's annual administrative salary expense by about $21,000 — from about $1.87 million to about $1.85 million.

The news coincides with an announcement from Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, that the Decatur Police Department could receive $430,000 for in-car cameras and $86,000 for its children's advocacy program. The funding has passed the U.S. House but not the Senate.

Collier introduced the changes during a City Council work session Monday. The council will consider the matter during its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Aug. 6 in the council chambers.

"We're very anxious to get it into effect," Collier said.

Details of the reorganization call for several new titles at the department, each with a specific job description.

Collier says the changes more clearly define the duties of the administrative staff, separating them from other operations at the Police Department. He also says the changes create more accountability throughout the chain of command.

If approved, the Police Department will soon have two majors, three captains, 11 lieutenants and 17 sergeants.

According to city Personnel Director Kenneth Smith, reorganizing, the department will decrease its administrative staff from 35 officers to 34. He said no terminations will result from the changes because the department already has an administrative vacancy.

Collier says the changes also will free his two top-ranking officers from day-to-day administrative duties, enabling them to focus more on planning and cooperation with other law-enforcement agencies and city departments.

"They'll be able to look for problems that are causing crime and take steps to work in partnership with other departments and agencies to prevent those crimes from occurring," he said.

While he would not go into detail, Collier said he has a number of additional crime-fighting programs he wants to implement under the new organization system.

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