Nevada City is looking to bring its police department back to full strength as officers begin to look to other agencies for employment. At the last regular city council meeting the council approved Chief of Police Chad Ellis beginning the hiring process to fill three vacant positions. The department when fully staffed is only twelve sworn officers. The three vacancies include two vacant positions that were frozen when COVID when into effect and a recent movement of an officer to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department. The vacancies make up twenty-five percent of the department and Chief Ellis says the remaining officers are struggling to meet the needs of the community.
Ellis also brought up the potential of at least two more officers looking to move to other jurisdictions.
If that occurs, the department would be down five officers, or at least half of the patrol units.
Council members Doug Fleming and Daniella Fernandez are concerned about the perception of the department trying to grow. Vice Mayor Duane Strawser clarifies that is completely opposite, they are just trying to fill a hole.
Mayor Erin Minett also expressed concern about the department’s ability to provide effective service if it continues to shrink.
Eventually all council members agreed that moving forward with the hiring process would be in the best interest of the community.