By Elizabeth Perry
Robinson Township Police Department, which opened its new station in February 2022, continues to modernize.
Sgt. John Sweeney is training with the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. for 11 weeks, from Jan. 7 to March 17, 2023.
Sweeney said the training is “leadership-based” and he is the only person in the Robinson Police Department to attend the program besides retired Chief Dale Vietmeier.
Sweeney hoped to receive instruction in dealing with critical incidents like active shooters and extreme weather situations like flooding. Sweeney said he would also receive instruction on how to effectively communicate with members of the media.
Recently, the department expanded its drone program by training four officers in the operation of the device. Two volunteer firefighters are also training for the program.
Police Chief Tim Westwood said the cost of the program to train one pilot to acquire a drone license was the same for one individual or four.
Westwood said the drone had been deployed in the past to search for a missing person, and in a situation within a house to see if an individual inside was alive because it was too unsafe for police to enter. Westwood also said the drone had been used in the past for accident reconstruction.
According to the 2023 township budget, Robinson plans to spend $6.181 million on the police force which is 39.23% of the total budget – the biggest expenditure of the government. They employ 29 officers at this time and operate 19 vehicles. The budget for the police has hovered near $6 million since 2020.
The Robinson Police department just hired a new secretary, Renee Jozwiak. The Robinson Board of Commissioners approved her hiring Dec. 5. Jozwiak’s hourly rate is $13.69.