Wed, Nov 25, 2015

Eagleville adds POST-certified reserve police officer

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Eagleville city council members agreed at their Thursday night meeting to add a reserve police officer to the city's one-person police force.

Police Chief Eli Stuard will be joined by David Breniser, who now lives in the John Windrow Road area. He lived in Michigan before moving to Tennessee.

Breniser formerly worked for the Vanderbilt University Police Department and left that position for family reasons, Stuard said.

"I have made this town my home, " Breniser said at the council meeting. "I purchased nine acres over on John Windrow and hope to be here for some time to come."

As a reserve police officer, Breniser will receive no salary and will work about 25 to 32 hours a week. He will provide his own service pistol for which he will qualify at the Rutherford County Sheriff's office, Stuard said.

Breniser and Stuard will share Eagleville's one police car. Stuard said he would respond in his personal vehicle if Breniser needs him when Breniser has the police car.

Stuard estimates the cost for the reserve police officer position will be about $19 to $22 a month extra on insurance, some extra fuel, a couple of uniforms and $60 a year for Breniser to attend school to retain his Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Commission police officer certification.  Stuard said he can handle the extra expense for the reserve officer within this year's $55,500 police budget.

Breniser, whose appointment was unanimously approved by the city council, is expected to begin his new position soon.

"We need to get him qualified on his pistol, and he will ride with me and learn the area," Stuard said.

Stuard said one reason he proposed adding another officer at this time is because growth is expected with adding a sewer system in Eagleville.

"Things are going to start happening in the city, and as the city grows the police department is eventually going to grow," he said. "I would like to start with a slow process and would rather be a proactive police department rather than a reactive police department."

Adding the reserve officer allows the city to put another certified person in a police car patrolling, answering calls and making traffic stops at a minimal cost to the city, Stuard said.

He noted the reserve officer position has the support of Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold and the POST commission.

Arnold already employs about 35 reserve officers and hopes to have about 100 reserve officers by the end of the year, the police chief and Mayor Sam Tune said.

Also at Thursday night's meeting, Stuard reported that he and Eagleville Fire Chief Rick Parks attended an active shooter workshop that dealt with situations like Sandy Hook.  The workshop covered how the incident took place, how to respond to such incidents and how to plan in advance methods to coordinate a response.

Stuard also reported he and a county officer walked and remapped the Eagleville School layout, taking into account the new additions and any other changes.

"The maps they had are outdated and there were about 8,000 square feet of the school that weren't accounted for on the maps," he said. "They are now accounted for and everything is labeled like it needs to be."

Stuard said he made about 150 traffic stops in Eagleville in January and wrote citations for less than half of the stops.  He assisted Emergency Management Services five times and backed up county and highway patrol about 30 times.

He also assisted the fire department in a police capacity three times and attended the monthly chief's breakfast that the sheriff holds for law enforcement officials.