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City hiring 2nd resource officer to deal with homeless issues

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POSTED November 17, 2017 1:04 a.m.

A retiring Manteca Police officer will help augment the city’s efforts to steer homeless that want help to available resources as well as address crime issues involving those homeless that decline to follow laws governing the conduct of all citizens.
The City Council on Tuesday is being asked to approve the hiring of Randy Chiek effective Dec. 21 as a non-sworn community resource officer one day after he officially retires. He will join CRO Mike Kelly in the city’s efforts to address homeless issues.
Kelly since going from a booking officer to a CRO 16 months ago, has been able to get over 170 homeless off the streets and either into programs, shelter, jobs or reunited with relatives — many from out of state — who have been willing to let them live with them.
Staff originally recommended only one CRO be hired due to their concerns of maintaining a 25 percent general fund reserve. The City Council, though, led by Councilman Mike Morowit opted to budget for two positions on the premise having a CRO addressing homeless seven days a week was more effective that just four days a week.
Filling the second position has been daunting. The department at one point had hired an individual but they quit after less than a week.
Police Chief Jodie Estarziau has noted it is has been difficult to find individuals with the proper training that are interested in doing what Kelly does or have the right temperament or personality that is needed to do the job effectively.
In order to hire Chiek immediately upon his retirement, California Public Employees Retirement System rules require the council to determine  special need exists to waive the requirement that a retiree wait 180 days before a retired annuitant can be hired by the same city they worked for.
CalPERS retirees are limited to 960 of annual work based on a fiscal year starting July 1 if it is with an agency that participates in the retirement system.
He will work until June 30, 2018 or when a replacement is hired for the position. The city is still actively looking for a replacement that — once they pass various interviews — still have to pass background checks before they can be hired.
Chiek’s work schedule will mirror that of the existing CRO. His pay will be at $32.19 per hour but he will not accrue holiday, sick, vacation of wellness leave nor will he be paid employee city-paid medical, dental, or vision benefits.
The City Council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

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