JEFFERSON — The Jefferson Common Council on Tuesday night approved the hire of a new dispatch officer and a part-time police officer.

Jefferson Police Chief Kenneth M. Pileggi said they had a dispatch officer leave in early September for another job and had 35 applications got out for the job. Seven of those were brought in for interviews.

Katelyn M. Rutz of Watertown was hired and will start on Oct. 24. She is currently a dispatcher for the City of Hartford.

“This was a pretty quick turnaround for us,” Pileggi said.

The hiring now saves on other staff who had to make up the hours, he said.

The department also was given the go ahead to hire Yee Thao as a part-time police officer. He has a degree in criminal justice, taking classes in Madison, and was certified in 2018.

Eight application returns were taken for the job and three people were interviewed. He will be the departments fourth part-time officer.

“We have been having a hard time recruiting police officers,” Pileggi said.

He added that many police stations around the area have been having a tough time finding officers to fill positions.

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