Newport hires police officerNewport’s small police department has replaced a recently retired, longtime investigator with a new officer.
Newport’s small police department has replaced a recently retired, longtime investigator with a new officer.
The seven-member Newport Police Department had been shorthanded since investigator Brian Domeier retired last month following more than two decades as an officer in the city. The recent hire of Navy veteran Dave Crist as the city’s seventh officer brings the force back to full-strength, Chief Curt Montgomery told the Newport City Council last week.
Montgomery said the department decided to assign investigative duties to in-house, currently employed Newport officers rather than hire a new investigator and, in turn, hire a new patrol officer.
As recently as 2009, the Newport Police Department had eight full-time officers. Prior to 1991, the department employed as many as nine officers.
Budget reductions led the city to eliminate the department’s sergeant position that was held by Montgomery before his promotion, reducing the force’s size to seven officers. Further staff cuts would make it difficult to continue providing full-time police coverage, said Brian Anderson, the city’s administrator.
“[Seven] is really the minimum [number of officers] you can have if you want to have 24-hour police service,” Anderson said.