Brookfield Police Department has lost two long-serving full-time members and a part-time member who had been filling key shifts to the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Department.
Cpl. Scott Thompson, who joined the department in 1997; Cpl. Jay First, who has worked since 1999; and Gabrielle Infante all left in November.
The defections leave the department with eight full-time policemen and no active part-timers other than Scott Pflug, who works two shifts a month for free.
Chief Dan Faustino has complained for some time about the inability to find part-timers, and steps he and the trustees have taken to try to fill shifts, such as increasing part-time and holiday pay and increasing the full-time force from nine to 10, have not seemed to help.
With voters in November having approved a replacement levy, most of which the chief said he would spend on creating another full-time position, he has two immediate full-time positions to fill, and another next year, after levy proceeds start coming in with the collection of taxes.
“Replacements, we’ve been working on, but not a lot of luck,” Faustino told the trustees Nov. 22. “There’s not a lot of people out there.”
The chief said he is looking at boosting the salaries of the newest hires “to keep those still here.”
Under the contract, new full-time hires are paid 70 percent of a patrolman’s salary in the first year, and that amount increases by 10 percent every other year until the employee reaches 100 percent in the seventh year.
Faustino and Sgt. Aaron Kasiewicz, who also is the department’s detective, have been taking shifts on the road to fill out the schedule.
While working double duty is “expected” of the chief, it’s not expected of Kasiewicz, Faustino said.
“I feel sorry for him,” Faustino said.