Sitka Police Chief says progress is being made

    Sitka, Alaska (KINY) - Sitka Police Chief Robert Baty said recruitment of police officers remains the biggest issue facing his department.

    There are currently no applicants for open patrol positions.

    Baty took over the job 10 months ago.  He said he took over a dysfunctional department with a lack of leadership, low morale, a lack of accountability, and one with a lack of adherence to policy and procedure.

    "Every aspect of the department was in some need of repair," he added.

    He's worked on morale, budget, overtime, and accountability.

    Baty said he renegotiated contracts to lower the costs of jail meals and laundry.

    He said employee morale has improved due to stability in the department.  He said all employees are held accountable.

    "Members are given direction, mentorship, and training to develop their professional skills," he added.

    He also pushed the Department of Public Safety to handle court security to save the police department money.

    He also worked with TSA to have the federal government pay for the entire costs of airport security.

    He was encouraged to work with the Sitka Tribe to try and encourage more young people to pursue a law enforcement career.



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