WARSAW – The city is getting closer to having a fully-staffed police force and is doing so in part by hiring two women.
On Friday, Dec. 6, a probationary officer was sworn in during the city Board of Works and Safety meeting and it was then announced the city has chosen two job candidates to be hired.
Lucas Vander Hart was sworn in by Mayor Joe Thallemer. He is a Grace College graduate who applied earlier for a job with the police department but was most recently working in law enforcement in Tennessee.
The board was also informed that the city is now hiring two more officers who will enter into a year-long probationary period.
Megan E. Bortner and Brianna M. Marganti are being hired as probationary patrol officers.
Bortner is a 2009 graduate of Valparaiso High School and a 2014 graduate of Ivy Tech where she received a degree in Mortuary Science. Additionally, Bortner is enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves. Since 2017, she has been employed as a corporal for the Noble County Jail.
Marganti is a 2009 high school graduate and attended Purdue Northwest. She previously worked as an internet and phone consultant for Christenson Chevrolet in Highland. She will be a second-generation law enforcement officer, as her father recently retired from the Indiana Gaming Commission.
Both are scheduled to begin work Monday, Dec. 9.
Bortner and Marganti are the department’s 37th and 38th officers. The department has two more vacancies to fill and is accepting applications until Jan. 2.
Bortner and Marganti will join Patrol Officer Kelly Bradley, and in doing so, will mark the first time the department has had more than one female officer, according to Police Chief Scott Whitaker.
Bradley was hired in June of 2018, according to the city.
In other matters, the board approved plans to use grant money for workplace safety for a series of proposed uses. The money comes from the city’s workman’s compensation insurance carrier, IPEP, of Kokomo
Under the matching grant agreement, the company will provide about $2,800 while the city will add another $7,200. The money will go toward a training seminary and the purchase of various safety-related materials such as work boots and lighting equipment for various departments.
In another matter, Mayor Joe Thallemer said he’s been getting calls about some street lights not being on at night. City Plan Director Jeremy Skinner said the lights are tied into the recent traffic signal project at Center and Buffalo streets and it’s likely just a matter of NIPSCO flipping a switch.
The board also reviewed agreements with 11 non-profit groups. Those include:
- Animal Welfare League, $27,000
- City-County Athletic Complex, $20,000
- Housing Opportunities of Warsaw, $26,000
- KABS, $19,055 plus $11,240 for a matching capital improvement project
- Kosciusko County Senior Services, $20,000
- Lilly Center For Lakes and Streams, $20,000
- Beaman Home, $5,750
- Warsaw Community Development Corporation, $22,725
- Warsaw Little League, $5,000
- WCDC Facade Program, $25,000
- Warsaw Housing Authority, $30,000