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Monday, March 13, 2023

Leesburg commissioners respond to increase in criminal activity

Leesburg city commissioners have responded to Police Chief Robert Hicks’ request for additional staff to combat increased criminal activity.

On Monday, commissioners voted unanimously to add staffers to the police department.

Chief Hicks requested the addition of two crime scene technicians and two police services aides to the force as the the increased residential and business construction has led to an influx of criminal activity. The new positions will allow more time for the sworn officers to focus on crime suppression, reduce response time to calls for service, traffic safety and enforcement, and investigative functions.

The four new positions will consist of trained civilian staff as crime scene technicians and police services aides. These are new specialized positions, specifically designed to enhance  existing police services and to increase operational effectiveness. The proposed positions would pay between $20.24 and $28.02 per hour. These positions would be effective April 1, 2023 and assumed to be hired in May 2023. The current police budget has several personnel vacancies and has adequate funds to cover the costs of these positions, according to proposal presented to the commissioners.

Chief Hicks’ request detailed the duties of the new crime scene technicians as primarily processing crime scenes for latent fingerprints, DNA, photographic evidence, measurements, and all other potential evidence. The technician will collect evidence, perform fingerprint analysis and comparisons, and appropriately package, transport, preserve, and assist in legal timely evidence destruction.

The proposal outlined the police service aides as assisting uniform officers with traffic crash investigations, disabled vehicles, funeral escorts, parking complaints, equipment checks and complaints not requiring a sworn police officer.

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