DANVILLE — Three new Danville police officers are being sworn in Friday, including two from the city's new "lateral transfer" list that the council created last year to get new hires on the streets more quickly.
Ryan Birge, Douglas Miller and Aadam Alikhan are scheduled to be sworn in at 9 a.m. today in the city council chambers at the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building, 17 W. Main St., Danville, according to the city's Human Resources Administrator Bill Westphal.
Birge and Miller were hired from the city's new police department lateral transfer list, a group of candidates who are currently police officers with other departments in the state who have voluntarily submitted their names to be considered for a position with the Danville Police Department. Birge and Miller have been deputies with the Vermilion County Sheriff's Department.
Alikhan was hired from the police probationary list, which is a group of candidates who have completed and passed written and physical tests and other requirements but are not currently full-time officers with other departments.
The three officers are filling vacancies in the department that were created when veteran Officer Mark Showers retired last year and two police officers were reassigned as school resource officers at South View Middle School and North Ridge Middle School in the Danville school district, which is paying those officers' salaries during the school year.
Danville Public Safety Director Larry Thomason said the city will soon be hiring another officer to replace Roger Heath, whose retirement was effective this week.
This latest round of hires represents the first time the city has used its lateral transfer list, which was created last year on recommendation from the city administration and approval of the city council.
The police and fire board, which oversees the formation of hiring lists for the police and fire departments, was first to approve creating lateral transfer lists for both the police and fire departments last year. Historically, both departments have hired from probationary lists only.
City administrators said a lateral transfer list would broaden the city's options when filling vacancies, save the city the cost of training new officers and firefighters and get new hires on the streets more quickly.
When a police officer is hired from the city's current probationary list, that hire must go through 12 weeks of training at the Police Training Institute and then 16 weeks of field training before they are even considered for going solo, according to city officials. Lateral transfer hires can bypass PTI and other training and be assigned to the street sooner.
Thomason said the city will also be hiring two firefighters early this year to replace two firefighters who are no longer with the department. A lateral transfer list was never formed for that department, so those hires will come from the existing probationary list. Thomason said firefighters and city administrators met and determined that such a list couldn't be done under certain guidelines. Thomason said there was only one person on that list anyway.
Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn said his department already has a list of eligible candidates to fill the two openings created by the departure of Miller and Birge. He said one of the positions will be filled today and the other will be soon. Hartshorn declined to release the name of the new officer hired today.