Madison Township's interim police chief and captain will continue in those jobs permanently, effective Aug. 30.

Madison Township's interim police chief and captain will continue in those jobs permanently, effective Aug. 30.

Township trustees agreed last week to remove the "interim" designation from the job titles of Chief Kenneth Braden and Capt. James Dean. Both were named to the interim posts following the death of Chief Michael Ratliff in June.

Township Administrator Susan Brobst said Braden will earn $87,101 and Dean will earn $77,396 annually, plus benefits.

A formal ceremony for their promotions will be held at the township trustees' Sept. 17 meeting.

Trustees previously had agreed to reinstate the police department's bicycle patrol unit and also have agreed to resume the reserve officer program.

"Since instituting the bike patrol, we've been receiving a lot of positive feedback from the residents, and it's working really well," Braden said.

Trustee Gary McDonald is a resident of the Blacklick Estates neighborhood, which has petitioned for the return of these programs over previous years.

"I'd like to say that as a resident, me and my neighbors are very happy to see (officer Jacob Short) on his bike," McDonald said. "Already he attended the block watch meeting and answered questions, and on behalf of my neighbors, I wanted to thank the other trustees for working with the community on this."

The reserve officer program, which has been on hiatus for several years, will be overseen by retired Madison Township police officer James Galvin.

Braden said he hopes to bring on four volunteers for the program to work under Galvin at special functions and as support during busy periods of policing activities.

"I'd like to try and get about four guys to help out with functions like our trick-or-treat night," Braden said. "These will probably be young guys looking for their first police job because once you go through the academy, you need to have a commission within a year, so if they work a minimum of 16 hours a month for us, it keeps them certified."

Braden said the reserve program can save money because all the reservists work on a volunteer basis. This can help cut down on overtime that might otherwise be paid full-time officers for special-event duty, he said.

The reservists also become a potential pool for hiring full-time staff as replacements are needed in the department, because they will have already completed the township's background screening and training.

McDonald said the reinstatement of this program is, "long overdue," and it's a "win-win situation for everyone."

"Having a reserve program in today's economic environment helps in the department's budgeting issues and staffing shortages," he said. "Some reserve officers have a multitude of skills and knowledge that can be crucial in department operations and investigations, which is a benefit to all of us."