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Officer resigns; another hired

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Ferris still short one officer
News Editor
FERRIS - The Ferris Police Department has become a revolving door for officers in recent months.

Officers who have left the city cite the higher pay available at other law enforcement agencies.

An entry level police officer in Ferris makes $35,426.48 annually not including overtime pay or benefits.

After serving the community for a year and a half, Sunday, Nov. 20 was patrolman Larell Tolbert's last day as a Ferris police officer.

Tolbert was going to work as a Dallas County Constable, according to Ferris Police Chief R.C. Nettles.

The chief said he hated to lose Tolbert because he was a fine officer, who had previously served as a dispatcher at the Red Oak Police Department.

'He came here as a reserve and then converted to full-time,' Nettles said. Early last week, Jim Gilliand, 59, was hired as Ferris' newest police officer.

Gilliand said he had worked in law enforcement agencies since 1976 including being a former Dallas County deputy constable and Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District police officer.

'I prefer a small town community over a large city environment,' Gill-iand said.

'I like the home spun atmosphere of a small community.'

Nettles said the department had reviewed some very good prospects before hiring Gilliand.

After Gilliand was hired Wednesday, Nov. 22 the department was still short one patrolman and had no formally trained detective on the force since two other officers resigned in October.

Mike Aston was pulled from the night shift to become an investigator after Detective John Julian left to work at the Red Oak Police Department.

Currently the Ferris police department only has enough to staff one police officer per shift, but Nettles said he wanted to eventually have two officers working the overnight shift for safety reasons.

'We got four officers now, one investigator and two supervisors,' Nettles said.

'It certainly restricts us. It restricts our capabilities.'

Officials said Tolbert's spot would be filled at the beginning of the year.

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