UPDATE: Two Officers Leaving Force, Future of These Positions Undecided

By: Lauren Weppler, Leslie Barrett Email
By: Lauren Weppler, Leslie Barrett Email

UPDATED 9/15/10 7:20 p.m.

No decisions have been made by village council on the future of the Beverly Police Department but this week the manpower has been reduced.

Ted Offenberger said Monday he turned in his resignation as a full-time officer.

Village Solicitor Tom Webster said Patrolman Brad Oliver will be serving in Afghanistan anywhere from a year to 18 months.

With those current vacancies, the force is reportedly down to two full-time officers and two part-time officers who are on call.

Offenberger said there were a number of factors that led to his decision to resign including how busy his family's two businesses have been, they were able to buy health insurance, and his schedule changed.

"Then here lately with the problems they are having over there. They're trying to get rid of Chief Brockmeier to cut the budget so I thought that if I quit now, resigned now, that maybe they could keep Chief Brockmeier because he is a good chief," said Offenberger.

Webster said the council's fire and police committee will be meeting to discuss what will happen to these two positions.

Offenberger said he offered to work part time but he hasn't heard back from officials about it.

Phone calls to the mayor were not returned Wednesday.

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UPDATED 9/08/10 - 11:17PM

Its been a week since Beverly residents were left with no answers concerning their police departments fate and the answers this week are the same.

Last week the village council meeting in Beverly erupted without any final decision made on whether or not the Beverly Police Department would be forced to make cuts.

This week the answers remain the same. No decisions were made on the police force. Beverly Mayor Clem Biedenebach said he isn't sure when the decision will be made.

Since last meeting, Biedenebach said he made sure the correct pursuit tires were on the police cruisers, and had them looked over to make sure they were in good working condition.

He said the village has reimbursed officers for their uniforms and sent a radar gun and a taser to be fixed.

The mayor attributes those changes to the miscommunication between him and the Beverly Police Chief, P.J. Brockmeyer about the availability of funds.

Beverly Police Officer, Brad Oliver, said Chief Brockmeyer has been proactive in getting funding for the department, "I've got a lot of support from the people I've talked to. They really appreciate that Chief Brockmeyer has made us become a more personal department we get out and interact with the public."

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said the deputies are aware of Beverly's shortage of manpower and they'll do whatever is necessary to protect the citizens of the village.

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UPDATED 9/01/10 - 11:12PM

Tempers flared Wednesday evening at a Beverly Council Meeting, and it can be said that those tempers caused no decisions to be made.

Beverly residents and village council members got together at the municipal building to discuss the future of the Beverly Police Department.

An hour into the meeting, it was canceled abruptly after heated exchanges among the group.

A council member said the police chief has been under investigation for several months and they are planning to make cuts to the police department because of the struggling budget the village is facing.

Local resident Mary Warren said she has been noticing the increased amount of suspicious activity going up. "Should we lose those (officers) we are putting our village at risk. I feel people will start to take the law into their own hands and that's kind of scary."

Next Wednesday the council members will make a decision on the Beverly Police Chief's position and other cuts to be made.

The council member would not give a reason into why the police chief is being investigated.

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UPDATED 9/01/10 - 05:21PM
Rumors about the police department closing its doors has concern sweeping through the town of Beverly.

"A little boy got ran over by a car right out here in front of my store and the police department was here in no time at all," Diann Rock said.

Rock owns the Rock Box in Beverly. In this town, it doesn't take long for word to get around, and right now the topic of conversation is the police department.

"Everyone that I've talked to is very concerned. This is the only kind of authority that we have," Rock said.

Rumors that the department is closing are everywhere. It's something even the mayor, Clem Biedenbach can't avoid.

"I have heard that we're going to do away with the police department, and this is not true," he said.

Setting the record straight is just step one. Signs posted all over town show concern about the department's equipment and certain jobs.
Biedenbach says any equipment problems he's aware of should be getting fixed, but didn't wish to comment about the possibility of job cuts.

"We do have some financial problems and it's that way all over the state with the villages and cities. We have to make some budget cuts, and we're looking at everything right now," Biedenbach said.

Leaving people like Rock hoping not too many of those cuts are with the police department.

"This is really a nice town and we don't have much problem, but when we do it's nice to know that they're right up the street," Rock said.


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