PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- The Pittsfield City Council approved the hiring of two new police officers Tuesday night.
The new officers hired are Brian Johnson, currently a Sangamon County corrections officer, and Silas Greening, a Pittsfield native currently working as a Memorial Medical security officer.
Pittsfield Police Chief Kenny Yelliot said the two will fill impending gaps in the department's staff, following a resignation last month and an expected retirement in August next year.
The Pittsfield Police Department has secured two openings at the Southwestern Illinois Police Academy in August. The two new officers will receive 16 weeks of training at the academy starting Aug. 21.
"It's state funding that will be covering repayment on these two," said Pittsfield Mayor John Hayden. "We don't know if the state will repay."
Hayden said he believes the state will repay the expense if it is undertaken this year, but without a budget, it is hard to be certain.
New officers start out at approximately $38,000 in annual salary.
The council also approved the sale of the 10 acres that used to house the Pike County Speedway to Todd Smith for $25,000. The city bought the land in 1993 for $20,000. Hayden said the sale was agreed upon with the expectation that Smith would build storage units on the property within a year.
A request by a Pittsfield restaurant owner to host a block party was postponed until the council could hear more details. The restaurateur requested a special event permit to sell alcohol outside, but business owners with existing liquor licenses cannot receive special event permits.
"They can have a block party, but no alcohol outside (without a special event permit)," Hayden said. "We're not against giving it a shot. We just asked for more information."
The council will hear more on the proposed block party during its first meeting in June.