Lake Hallie Police Dept. hopes to balance workload - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Lake Hallie Police Dept. hopes to balance workload by adding officer

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Lake Hallie (WQOW) - A local police department is hoping a new full-time position will help balance out the workload.  Currently there are seven full-time officers with the Lake Hallie Police Department. Because of that, sometimes there is only one officer working during busy periods. Starting on Sunday, the department will be adding an additional full-time member.

"We'll be able to address the needs of the public much more than we've been able to address them in the previous three and a half years that I've been here," said Cal Smokowicz, Lake Hallie's Police Chief.

The Lake Hallie Police Department says a new full-time position is badly needed.

"We were reaching a point that we were getting multiple calls that required an immediate police response, whether it be a fight, vehicle in traffic, threatening behavior, or some type of other traffic obstruction. Somebody had to respond, and you just couldn't do it," Smokowicz said.

Under the current structure, only one officer is staffed at any given time. That person does everything; from answering calls to patrolling the streets.

When the new officer and shift begin on Sunday, there will be two officers here during peak hours to help split the workload.

"They'll be able to come into situations, attack it up front. While you're trying to gain statements from one person, the other officer can be asking questions from another, because they'll be working as a team," said Smokowicz.

The department has been looking to add to its staff since Lake Hallie was incorporated in 2003.

"You add in the population, the commercial development, the potential for more commercial development. And we're sandwiched between two larger cities. There's a lot of factors that are demanding services from a police agency," Smokowicz said.

A part-time officer was promoted to full time in order to fill the new position.

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