Grottoes Police Department fully staffed for first time in nearly two years

Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 7:07 PM EST
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GROTTOES, Va. (WHSV) - The Grottoes Police Department is fully staffed for the first time in almost two years. The town’s new police Sergeant Steve Knight was sworn in on Thursday completing the department’s staff.

It had been understaffed since January of 2021 at one point having only its chief and a single full-time officer.

“We had to change our scheduling tactics we normally worked a 6a-6p, 6p-6a shift for 12 hours. Some of my guys would work as long as 14 hours, I was covering patrol shifts so I was balancing several different hats just like my patrol guys,” said Grottoes Police Chief Jason Sullivan.

The department ramped up recruiting and increased officer pay over the last two years to attract more officers and received assistance from the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office to cover patrols when needed.

With the hiring of Sergeant Knight the department now has six full-time officers and six part-time officers. Being fully staffed will allow the department to greatly increase its service in the town.

“We’ll be back to 100 percent 24-hour coverage. Instead of just answering the routine calls we can serve the community better now such as being at more of the special events and being more open to the public,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan said he will now also be able to send his officers to much-needed specialized trainings.

The town of Grottoes said it is excited that its officers will now be able to be more involved in the community.

“It’s very important that our police are visible here in the town. They are mentors to our children so we look forward to bridging those relationships and carrying a message of the police officers’ importance and role in our community and how great it is,” said Grottoes Mayor Jo Plaster.