by Lisa Tome
After nearly a year of working short staffed, there is light at the end of the tunnel for Rising Sun's four man police force.
An officer has been hired and a second will join the department within a few months.
Police chief Chip Peterson announced last week that Officer Elijah Thompson will join the force by mid-February. Officer Thompson has a dozen years of experience in police work and currently works for the Chester County (Pa.) Housing Authority Police Department. He has also worked at other townships in Pa. as an officer.
"I'm happy, I've talked to him via text and he seems like a nice guy," said Officer George Vanaskey, the town's most senior officer. "He's coming from another state. He can teach me things that I may not know I can can teach him stuff he may not know."
Chief Peterson said Thompson was selected from the pool of candidates because of his "integrity."
"He also has a history of working with other departments with our style of community policing. He has been a school resource officer and was a board member with the National Association of School Resource Officers. He has leadership ability and appears to be a good fit with the officers in our department," said Chief Peterson.
The chief said since Thompson lives in another state, he won't have a take home police vehicle.
Since the department has been lacking officers for nearly a year, the chief said some of his office duties have fallen by the wayside while he worked patrol. "That will give me more time to complete some of the clerical duties," said Peterson.
"We went through an extensive search to find officers. We have to compete with other jurisdictions in the county (for officers)," he said. "But he (Thompson) would have been the cream of the crop anywhere."
The next officer should be hired in March. The chief said the officers are excited to welcome both to the force. Officer Thompson will need to attend Comparative Compliance School for several weeks. That school provides officers certified in other states with police training specific to Maryland.
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