Portage police hire part-time officer as department readies for bigger staff changes

August 1, 2018

The Portage Police Department welcomed a new part-time officer Tuesday, but that position may grow as the department expects significant staff changes in the near future.

Officer Jeremy Tully, 26, was sworn in by City Clerk Marie Moe in the Portage Municipal Building’s Council Chambers as family, fellow officers and city staff watched.

Administrative Lt. Keith Klafke handled the hiring process and said it was a bit different than in the past. The department has several senior officers who are approaching retirement and discussions continue with Portage Community School District about assigning a full-time officer to the schools in a new position that would be funded by the district.

“Because of the long lead time of getting someone on board, it would be good to have another part-time officer on board who could slide right in,” said City Administrator Shawn Murphy.

The Portage Police Department has 22 full-time sworn officers, three part-time officers, two administrators and one community service officer. The department is processing applications for a second community service officer following the death of Jerilyn Jerome in June.

Klafke said Tully would begin orientation immediately.

Tully previously worked for the village of Edgar as a part-time police officer for about four years, while also holding a full-time job in retail loss prevention, which Klafke said he interpreted as evidence of sincere passion for the work.

“You’re probably going to find that we’re a little bit more busy than Edgar and you’re probably going to enjoy that,” Klafke said. “But Edgar is a small, great community and you’ve proven yourself there.”

Tully said he has mixed emotions about leaving Edgar.

“It’s bittersweet,” Tully said. “It is a smaller, more rural department, so it’s a smaller community and it’s very tight-knit like Portage is, but it’s a different area. Compared to Portage it is one of those blink and you miss it kind of towns.”

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