Erin Holly was sworn in as the 21st member of the last night.
Holly—who comes to Pleasantville from the Mount Vernon Police Department—will be a solid addition to the department, said Mayor Peter Scherer.
Scherer said Holly came "highly recommended" from Mount Vernon, where she worked as a police officer for four years.
"We are confident you will be a good fit for the community," he told her.
Scherer explained the decision to hire a 21st police officer came after a long period of analysis with the department, crunching numbers against the alternative of paying current officers for overtime.
The department also to fill an opening. A few weeks ago, to the position of sergeant.
Holly's position is effective today.
"We felt it prudent to hire an additional officer," said Scherer. "We remain below the staffing we've had for the last 10 years or so. We continue to monitor that very carefully."
Chief of Police Richard Love said, "We've discussed it numerous times that we were below manning...the officers are overworked."
Of the 21 officers on village payroll, 19 are currently active.
Holly's position carries an annual salary of $64,883 and is subject to a 52- to 78-week probationary period.
According to Village Administrator Patti Dwyer, the salary for the new position will be covered in the budget.
"We have reconstructed our department by covering some overtime and other things," she said.
Love said the department has been looking for a female police officer for quite some time—having only employed males for at least the last eight to 10 years.
"We believe Erin will fit that role," he said.
According to Love, police protocol requires female prisoners to be searched by female officers only, which has forced Pleasantville to rely on neighboring departments such as Mount Pleasant and New Castle over the last decade or so.
"It's nice to have your own," he said.
The chief said Holly fits well into his long term vision for the department—he is focused on keeping things community-oriented and would eventually like to have all officers to be certified juvenile officers.
"She grew up in a small community like this one," he said. "I think she's going to do a great job. It was time for another female officer."