Stephen Poloni is in transition. He has officially taken over the helm of the Public Safety Department this week but he is likely to be a frequent face in the Shores for a bit longer.
Poloni is helping on a part-time/transitional basis during their search for his replacement--arriving at the municipal building early in the mornings and returning later in the evenings--sandwiching a full day of work in the City. Poloni will also be working weekends in the Shores, he said Tuesday night.
The exact amount of time it will take for officials to find and hire a replacement is unknown but Poloni said he will be around until that goal is reached.
, who is . Fox officially remains on the job through Wednesday as he was slated with transitioning in Poloni.
Shores City Manager Brian Vick told council Tuesday that he had received a total of 25 applications for the position, which included one internal candidate. A few more could have trickled in during the day but that was his most recent count.
Vick told council he intends to begin reviewing those applications immediatley and offered them for review for councilmembers who might be interested in helping find a suitable replacement.
Vick also noted the council would be wise to consider modeling the City's replacement process, explaining how they hired a retired officer, allowing the City to save on healthcare and other benefit expenses in his employment contract.
While that search is underway, the department is still down two officers as one is out on leave for an injury and the other is out on worker's compensation. Poloni said the officer on worker's compensation had to recently undergo a second surgery and it's unclear when, if at all, he'll return to work.
Poloni also spent a considerable amount of time Tuesday answering questions from residents after concerns were raised about how . Poloni repeatedly emphasized that 911 calls are not handled any differently than they were before and that response times are not any different.
The only true difference is that the dispatcher is now housed in the Farms municipal building rather than the Shores municipal building, but the 911 calls are handled the same as always, Poloni said.
Residents should dial 911 in true emergencies and shoudl feel confident they'll receive the appopriate, timely help, Poloni said.
Some residents complained about the non-emergency administrative line, with which they are now experiencing more delays in reaching a person than in the past. The system is set up so that the line will ring four times with an employee who is also handling any individuals who may show up to the municipal building in person. If she is unable to answer it, it bounces to the Farms dispatch center and then if the caller needs an official from the Farms, the call is transferred appropriately.
Poloni said there is a slight change from the residents perspectives about the level of service but it's only a matter of seconds that are ultimately delayed on non-emergency calls.