MILLBURY — Lake Township has lost one police officer to Perrysburg — but gained two from Walbridge.
At last month’s meeting, the trustees accepted the resignation of Jordan Grosjean, who is left the township to be a Perrysburg police officer.
After a 30-minute executive session, the trustees voted to hire Jonathan Schmidlin and Jeremy Salaz, who are officers in Walbridge, for $29.47 per hour.
After the meeting, Mark Hummer, Lake Township police chief, said the situation is not ideal. But officers from all over the area are taking advantage of opportunities to go to larger departments for better pay.
“The pool of candidates for police jobs is much, much smaller than it was before,” Hummer said.
The bigger police agencies, such as Perrysburg, Perrysburg Township and Sylvania, pay more.
“And they are recruiting from agencies such as ours, where they are going to get a very well-trained officer,” he said. “In turn, we have to hire somebody.”
Hummer praised Walbridge Police Chief Kenneth Campbell for training his officers well.
“Their officers approach us and give us resumes, and we have the luxury of getting to work with them,” he said, adding that they know if it’s a good fit.
“It is more money, and it is a larger area to work,” Hummer said. “We certainly don’t do it to hurt our neighbors … but we need to hire qualified people to protect our residents as well.”
There is no ill will toward Perrysburg for offering Grosjean a position, he said.
“I don’t begrudge Perrysburg for hiring Officer Grosjean. They got a good officer. And I certainly don’t begrudge Officer Grosjean for wanting to go to a larger department for more money,” Hummer said.
Hummer said Schmidlin and Salaz are experienced officers who approached the township about joining the team.
In addition to Grosjean leaving, two other part-time officers and one full-time officer have recently left, he said.
“We’re shorthanded,” Hummer said. “These two will pretty much be able to plug into our system.”
He said he does worry about the future of local policing, as long as staffing issues continue.
“I don’t know how long smaller agencies can survive. It’s just a sign of the times,” Hummer said.