Roseville OKs police officer trainee retention measure

With both the Roseville fire and police departments seeking funding for more personnel in the coming years, the Roseville City Council on Feb. 11 granted a related request made by Police Chief Rick Mathwig.

The council voted to affirm the police department’s Commitment to Diversity Staffing Program, and to give it authority to hire above its personnel cap in the instance of hiring Roseville community service officers, or other internal trainees, in order to retain them as police officers.

“We have a rich history of hiring our community service officers as police officers,” Mathwig told the council, pointing out the in-house candidates have a better chance of making it through the city’s training.

Such candidates are also required to speak a second language such as Somali, Thai, Karen, Hmong or Spanish, and have experience working or living in a minority community.

Mathwig requested being able to hire two people over the cap of 48 police department employees. He said this summer and next year there will be two community service officers ready to become police officers, though there are no expected job openings for them. 

“Just a couple years ago we lost a great CSO to another agency because we didn’t have a police officer job for her at the time,” Mathwig said, pointing out the department was again facing the risk of losing more people.

Openings at the department don’t come up often, he said, with folks expecting to work 20-30 years with the law enforcement agency once they join it.

The cost of the new officers is estimated to be just less than $80,000. Mathwig said the first potential hire under the authority would come in August.

Council members opted to give the police department more latitude with retaining community service officers relative to the personnel cap than what was requested, and said they backed what the department was trying to do.

“I’m very pleased to see us working towards greater diversity in the police force,” said council member Wayne Groff. “It shows good faith, which is what we need to do to keep being the good city that we are.”

Mathwig first discussed hiring to retain community service officers with the council in January, when he also made requests for a detective and two officers in the 2020 budget, and another three officers in the 2021 budget.

The council will again discuss police staffing relative to the 2020 budget later this year.


—Mike Munzenrider

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