Brookfield Police Chief Dan Faustino’s contract ended Dec. 31. He had intended to retire and concentrate on his family, especially the granddaughter he often carries around at public township events.
“I was ready for a new chapter,” he said. “I love it here. I love doing this. I don’t want to leave, but then there’s things in my life. Family takes priority.”
But, if Faustino had retired and left the department, it would have been down three full-timers instead of just two.
“I can’t leave my guys,” said Faustino, who has been working the road a lot to cover open shifts. “We are two short and hopefully. in a couple years, we’re able to fill the void and something changes in law enforcement and we can get some more people here so we’re not left with the shortage. We got a lot of work to do in a short period of time.”
Faustino, 59, ended up working out what is called a retire/rehire arrangement. He will receive pension payments and be paid a reduced salary. Trustees Ron Haun and Gary Lees, who have frequently spoken favorably about the job Faustino has done over the years, voted for the new arrangement and a two-year contract for Faustino on Dec. 6, but Trustee Dan Suttles voted against it.
Suttles said his vote was not a personal comment on Faustino’s work as chief.
“He’s done a great job,” Suttles said. “He’s done more than be a police chief for a long time.”
Suttles said he has a problem with the retire/rehire format and the message it sends to the other members of the department and the public.
“I think, when you have a retire/rehire, it does something to a department,” Suttles said. “It might send a message to the young people or the next people in line that their time hasn’t come, and that their ability to be promoted, whether it be the youngest guy to a sergeant or the sergeants, is thwarted somewhat.”
His concern about the public perception revolves around someone receiving a pension check and a paycheck simultaneously.
“I had to struggle with this, because I believe we need his guidance,” Suttles said. “It’s just, we offered him another three-year contract to extend his contract and he wasn’t open to that. I struggled with this and went back and forth. I think it’s hurts the department morale-wise and maybe stunts the growth of the department.”
Faustino was hired as a part-time officer in August 1990. He was promoted to full time that Christmas, and has been chief for 25 years. He said no one will notice any changes now that he is retired. However, he takes on the additional duty of training the department’s two sergeants to perform the duties of the chief. He has to provide a summary of his training plan and regular updates on the training and the performance of the sergeants.
Other provisions of Faustino’s retire/rehire arrangement:
- He will be paid $56,900 a year, less than the $62,691 he had been paid under his expired contract. Suttles said he would have voted for the retire/rehire arrangement if Faustino had agreed to be paid at about the rate of a sergeant, which is $23.85 an hour for 2022.
- Because Faustino returned to work within two months of his retirement, he forfeited two months of retirement benefits. He will be paid for January and February at the same rate as under his previous contract.
- Faustino can cash out his unused sick time either upon retirement or at the end of the two-year contract, but not both.
- He is eligible for longevity payments of $600 a year, down from the $1,125 a year he had been receiving.
- Even while receiving a pension, he still is responsible for paying into the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. He will pay all of the employee’s share. Previously, the township paid half.
- The trustees have the right to terminate the contract with or without cause.
Faustino has been a policeman for 36 years. He is the fourth generation in his family to have worked in law enforcement.