Some members of the Southborough Police Department may soon be moving up the ranks. At last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Police Chief Jane Moran asked for the board’s approval to fill a lieutenant position on the force.
Moran said her desire is to fill the position by promoting one of the department’s three sergeants.
Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf stressed that the proposal does not mean adding new personnel to the budget. “Personnel numbers are the same as they were a year ago,” she said. Phaneuf said the intent is to backfill the vacancy left when the former Sgt. Moran was promoted to chief last November.
Moran said that while her plan is to promote from within, any department member who meets the minimum requirements is invited to apply for the position.
“There’s been some talk out there that this is being tailored to one individual. My understanding is that’s not the case,” Selectman Sal Giorlandino said.
“That’s not the case,” Moran replied.
Moran said the lieutenant’s duties would be flexible, but the primary responsibility would be to oversee operations of the department. Moran said she is currently the only department member in a management role. Having a lieutenant on the force would add another management position.
“From a management perspective it makes sense to have a second management position,” Giorlandino said, noting that most of our neighboring communities have lieutenants on staff.
“I can’t be there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” Moran said.
Promoting a sergeant to the position of lieutenant would open up a vacancy at the sergeant level that Moran said she intends to fill by promoting another staff member. Candidates for both the lieutenant and sergeant positions would be evaluated by an assessment center as part of the hiring process.
Giorlandino said the Board is in favor of the staffing changes, but wanted more input from the Personnel Board before making a final decision. Selectmen said they will take up the issue again at their meeting on March 16.
In related news, Chief Moran will be officially sworn in as chief in a ceremony at the Board of Selectmen meeting on March 23.