The West Bloomfield Board of Trustees voted Monday, Jan. 24 to approve a number of considerations in regards to public safety.
In one measure, the board unanimously approved compensation for the township’s police and fire chiefs, as Police Chief Michael Patton and Fire Chief Jay Wiseman will each receive a yearly salary of $91,005 beginning this year.
Patton was selected and sworn in as police chief last October, replacing the retired Ronald Cronin, whose tenure ended on Sept. 15. He had been in that position since 1991.
Patton has served over 25 years in the West Bloomfield Police Department, with 18 of them as a command officer.
In November 2009, Wiseman was named the township’s new fire chief, replacing James Poppelreiter, who had served 44 years with the department, including 9.5 years as chief.
Wiseman served as interim chief before being promoted. He previously served as the department’s assistant fire chief and had served as the fire department’s administrative captain since 2005.
In order to cut costs, the township board voted in December 2009 to eliminate the department’s assistant fire chief position.
The board also approved a new township firefighter hiring policy that had been sitting on the shelf since June 2009.
“The only thing left for the policy was the approval, but a hiring freeze prevented that,” Township Trustee Howard Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg added that because of upcoming firefighter retirements, one new firefighter may be hired this year.
The township board also voted Monday to approve a change in the township’s vehicle policy, after a request was made by Police Chief Patton.
Under the change, two police officers who work in the department’s K-9 unit will each be allowed to take home a vehicle — a Ford Crown Victoria with back seats that are modified for dogs.
Patton made the case that the officers and dogs respond promptly, 24 hours a day, when called and that the cars are only used to travel to and from work or training.