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Baxter Police Chief Said He Wants To Hire Additional Officers To Help

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Baxter Police Chief Said He Wants To Hire Additional Officers To Help

Baxter Police Chief Danny Holmes said the department needs more officers and hopes to ask Aldermen for funding next spring.

A concerned citizen brought up the lack of staffing at a recent town meeting, with particular concern about officers working alone on night shifts as well as 911 response time. Holmes said the department currently has a staff of seven.

“At night especially is what concerns me, because we have the interstate out here,” Holmes said. “We never know who is traveling up and down the interstate. We never know if there is a convicted felon, a murderer, you know someone’s going to rob the gas stations out there and thank god that has never happened.”

Holmes said he would like to add two more officers to the force, so there could be at least two officers on a shift at all times.

“As you know, the officers have days off, they have sick days, they have vacation days, they have comp days where they have worked over and earned time off. Sometimes it puts us in a bind,” Holmes said. “We’ve got an officer off right now, hurt his knee. He was in a foot pursuit. We just got an officer back that had hurt his foot. Sometimes we have to scramble to make it work, but we’re going to make it work.”

Departments across the Upper Cumberland have struggled to hire and retain officers. Holmes said Baxter’s small town environment helps recruit and retain officers.

“You know it just all depends on what a police officer wants to do,” Holmes said. “You know if he wants to work accidents and wants to write speeding tickets then he will go to the highway patrol. If he wants to work in a small city and there’s a lot of things different in a small city. We answer every call.”

Holmes said he is confident the Aldermen will budget the department to hire two more officers in July. He said he can manage the workload until then.


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