Issaquah Police Department promotes officers to new rank

May 4, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

Issaquah Police Department leaders promoted five officers to the new rank of corporal last week.

The department created the rank to serve as a second-in-command for sergeants, and to help the corporals gain more experience and advance their careers.

Police officials promoted Paul Fairbanks, Todd Johnson, Darrin Benko, Christian Munoz and Bill Jarrell.

“This is a great opportunity for our new corporals to receive specialized training and on-the-job experience as supervisors,” Police Chief Paul Ayers said in a news release.

Issaquah Police Chief Paul Ayers (left) addresses five officers promoted to the new rank of corporal during a ceremony held in the Eagle Room at City Hall last week. Contributed

The department has five sergeants who serve as supervisors for the patrol and detective squads. If a sergeant becomes unavailable due to vacation or training, the department appoints someone as officer in charge for the shift.

The new corporal system provides a backup supervisor for each squad, as well as consistency in how the department handles operations, Ayers said in a follow-up interview.

Officials said the cost for the reclassifications should be minimal. The new rank went into effect May 1.

The corporals will be compensated the same as the former officer in charge. The added rank will be addressed in upcoming contract negotiations for police officers. The contract runs through December.

Officers seemed enthusiastic about the new position, Ayers said. The application process attracted 13 officers, and department leaders used testing, performance reviews and interviews to select the corporals. The police department has 62 employees, including 33 officers.

The department held a promotion ceremony at City Hall last week. The corporals, their families and friends, as well as other department and city employees turned out for the ceremony.

Ayers said department leaders had discussed the possibility of creating the corporal rank for years, but the plan had to be tweaked before the department decided to act.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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