HPD promotes 4, bolsters investigations
By MIKE CORN
A subtle restructuring move has boosted the Hays Police Department's investigative unit and moved four senior patrol officers into supervisory positions.
Hays Police Chief Don Scheibler said the restructuring will help a relatively young department and bring the plainclothes investigation unit up to where it needs to be.
While there will be some added cost, he said, the net effect will be negligible.
That's because the change involves moving the only remaining uniformed investigator -- J.B. Burkholder -- into the plainclothes division as an investigator, essentially a lateral move.
With that move, the uniformed investigator positions then r were eclassified as corporal positions, tapping four of the department's most senior patrol officers for the positions: Chris Hancock, Harold Anderson, Brandon Hauptman and David Vilaysing.
Three of the uniformed investigators positions already were open, Scheibler said.
"It gave us the opportunity to take a look at what we're doing and take a look at how we're using our resources," he said of the vacancies.
High on the list of changes was adding to the plainclothes division because of the growing case load. Also, uniformed investigators had to split time between investigations and patrol duty.
With the change, the department now routinely will have a sergeant and a corporal on each of the four 12-hour shifts. There are six officers on duty during each shift.
"This is an excellent opportunity for these four officers," Scheibler said. "They have the opportunity to mentor, train and supervise new patrol officers."
Scheibler said when the corporal positions were opened up, there were 10 officers in the department eligible, and they all applied.
"I was very excited that all of them were ready to step up," he said.
Scheibler offered brief biographies for the four selected:
* Anderson was a senior patrol officer with HPD, and has been with the department since January 2004. He serves as range master and is a senior firearms instructor.
* Hauptman has been with the department since August 2007, and serves as the assistant team leader for the Special Situation Response Team, the bike patrol and a senior field officer.
* Hancock started with the department in April 2009, moving over from the Fort Hays State University criminal justice program as a intern. He serves of the bike patrol and the SSRT and is a field training officer.
* Vilaysing started working with the department in January 2005 and is a senior patrol officer. He is on both the SSRT and bike units and a field training officer.
"All four of these gentlemen have demonstrated they are good police officers and have the capability to be a good supervisor," Scheibler said. "I'm confident they'll do a good job."
Burkholder started with the department in July 2005, and is a member of the SSRT.
The changes are effective today.