Paso Robles hires two patrol officers
November 6, 2012
The Paso Robles Police Department added two patrol officers to its short-staffed force.
Officers Stephen Lampe and Nicolaus Heuer joined the department Monday at a ceremony held in the Emergency Operation Center. Both hold police experience in other California departments.
The hire of the two patrol officers followed a decision by the city last month to rehire a retired sergeant. The Paso Robles Police Officers’ Association criticized the rehiring because the department already had a complete administrative staff and lacked patrol officers on the street.
In the past year, the police department at times has kept as few as two patrol officers on duty. Former Chief Lisa Solomon-Chitty enacted a limited response program in January called “safe mode,” which mandated that officers not respond to a long list of crimes when the department is short-staffed.
Acting Chief Robert Burton discontinued the service reduction program when he replaced Solomon, but the department remained short on patrol officers. One new hire, a police officer trainee, quit after complaining about department policies and procedures.
With the hiring of Lampe and Heuer, the department now has 30 sworn officers and about 17 on patrol. In 2007, the department had approved a total of 46 officers.