Staffing strains in Rossford: Police, fire are hiring


ROSSFORD — Both the fire and police departments are having difficulties with staffing and personnel replacement.

Councilwoman Caroline Zuchowski-Eckel, safety committee chair, reported to council at Monday’s meeting that “staffing is strained,” with the fire department.

The department has lost two staff members, one to a full-time job elsewhere and the other is returning to school.

There are currently four applicants for the two positions. Two applicants are fully trained and two are EMTs who need to start training in the fall.

The police department is not in as much need, but it is down by one officer, Zuchowski-Eckel said.

The civil service test has only two candidates. One of the candidates is training and certified and the other needs training, she said

Officer Michael Sebastian took his state test on Sept. 15 and passed. He is a lateral transfer from the Detroit police department. He has also been undergoing field training.

Police Chief Todd Kitzler is searching for another lateral transfer. Lateral transfers can bypass some of the hiring testing and other requirements, because of previous verification of skills and endorsements. Prior to the rule changes allowing lateral transfer bypassing, the hiring process regularly took more than four months for police officers.

New heavy duty defensive shields for the police department were shown to council.

“It’s a defensive measure. If we have to go into an active shooter situation, or anywhere we would potentially have to face an armed perpetrator, we have that to block it. There is one in each patrol car and one for each school for the school resource officer,” Kitzler said. “It’s the highest level of protection. It will stop 7.62 mm rounds. Those are high powered rifle rounds. Most (brands) will only stop pistol rounds.”

The five shields cost $7,000 each. Three shields will be in police cars and two at the schools.

Active shooter training will be taking place in the schools in February, which Kitzler said is the soonest that the schools can have all of their staff available.

Zuchowski-Eckel said that the Rossford Schools athletic department has asked for a boost in safety, specifically requesting that there be an officer at every school event, not just the “big ones.”

The contract for the elementary SRO expires at the end of the year and Kitzler is in talks with the city finance director regarding several points in that contract.

A new fireworks educational campaign is being designed for the public. New Ohio law regarding fireworks has caused confusion.

The safety committee has stressed that there are limits to the locations where fireworks are legal on designated days, and that they are still not legal in close proximity to buildings and neighbors.

No posts to display