The Fairfield police force will be fully staffed as of next week for the first time in months.

Police Chief Tom Gould told the Town Council Wednesday that unfilled vacancies have had a negative impact on the department.

“We’ve been down,” Gould said. “We’ve been a little shorthanded for a while and we’ve been utilizing the reserves a little heavy. This will get us back up to the manpower we need.”

The department faced challenges covering its shifts after two officers resigned earlier in the year.

Council members asked Gould and Town Manager Josh Reny to break down the overtime costs the department has faced because of the vacancy.

Reny said the staffing situation was only going to become more difficult this summer.

“The summer months, that’s the time that a lot of people like to take their vacation and that puts more strain on the force,” he said. “One member is planning to attend the police academy for 18 weeks. If the vacancy was left unfilled, the strain on the force would continue through the fall.”

Reny said he and Gould raised the issue with the council to make sure there were no objections to the hire.

He also said the town will pursue grant money to help cover the costs of department staffing.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287 | [email protected] | Twitter: @hh_matt

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