The Police Department got a new officer Tuesday, the first of several vacancies to be filled thanks to the city’s improved finances.
Officer Hiram Duncan joined the force after working most recently as a welfare fraud investigator for Kings County.
City Clerk Kellie Weaver swore in Duncan at a Turlock Public Safety Center gathering. It also featured three recruits – Alfred Velasquez, Emanuel Moles and Adam Neep – Turlock is putting through the six-month police academy at Delta College.
“It’s an exciting day today – a lot of new faces, and more new faces to come,” Police Chief Mark Jackson said.
The department is seeking one more person to fill out a sworn officer force budgeted at 74 positions, he said. It also has a new community service officer, Rochelle Segarini, to assist them.
Turlock faced tight budgets in the years after the Great Recession but has recovered somewhat better than many cities in the region. It has allocated $16.5 million for police in the fiscal year that started July 1, up from $15.9 million the previous year.
Modesto, by contrast, has cut its officer positions to 209 from 229 a year ago. Oakdale officials have warned about layoffs in public safety if city voters do not extend a sales-tax increase on the Nov. 4 ballot.