The recent hiring of two officers puts the Brownwood Police Department at full staff for the first time since around September, Police Chief Virgil Cowin said.
Ray Slayton began work Monday as a patrol officer, and Trey Weathermon begins Feb. 6. Both are recent police academy graduates who are starting their first jobs in law enforcement, Cowin said.
Weathermon, the son of the department’s criminal investigation supervisor, Sgt. Dennis Weathermon, currently works as a dispatcher, Cowin said.
“We’ll be back at full staff,” Cowin said. “You get low on a man, then it gets built back up.”
The department is authorized 39 commissioned officers — 23 patrolmen, six criminal investigators, two traffic investigators, one training officer, one school resource officer and three in administration.
Cowin said the department’s manpower fluctuates.
One of the more difficult staffing times in recent memory was late 2005 and early 2006, when the department was short five officers who were employees but couldn’t work there.
Two were on military deployments to Iraq, two were on medical leave and one was suspended while awaiting trial. All of those situations were resolved.
Cowin has said the department puts five patrolmen, including a sergeant and corporal, onto the streets per shift if the department is at full strength.