JASPER, Tenn. - At one time, the manpower at Jasper's police force was running a bit thin.
Mandatory vacation time, extended illnesses and military leaves forced Police Chief Tim Graham to ask the Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen to approve some part-time officers to help fill gaps in the work schedule.
Now many of Graham's full-time officers are back on the job, but last week he asked the board to leave the part-time officers "in place" for situations in which extra help might be required.
The board voted unanimously to approve Graham's request.
Having the part-time officers available makes setting up a work schedule for his staff dramatically easier, Graham said.
"I've got a really good department, and the people stay with me," he said. "They've built up quite a bit of vacation time already."
Mayor Billy Simpson said he didn't think the board would ever have a problem keeping extra officers on hand, especially if it didn't cost the city any extra money to keep them on standby.
"If we don't use [the part-time officers], they're not costing us a dime," Graham said.
Vice Mayor Leon Rash made the motion to keep the part-time officers the board previously approved, so Graham will be able to call on them whenever they are needed.
"I personally think [Graham] is doing a good job," Rash said. "He has a good staff, and they all do a good job."
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.