City’s police age limit discussed

Tiffin City Council members considered changing the Police Department age requirement for veterans at a Personnel and Labor Relations committee meeting Monday.

Brandon Amory said he spent eight years in the Marine Corps as a military police officer and infantry soldier and now would like to serve Tiffin as a police officer. He said that due to the 35-year age limit on officers, he is unable to apply to become an officer.

He said several federal agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation waive the requirement for eligible veterans above their age requirement.

Chief Fred Stevens said veterans over the age limit still would have to pass the physical fitness standards and Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy requirements.

Stevens said that due to his military background, Amory would bring experience to the position. Stevens also said veterans would require less training.

Law Director Brent Howard said council would have to consider whether other applicants could claim that the city has discriminated against them upon completing a waiver.

Mayor Aaron Montz said he was in agreement with creating a waiver as long as there was not a possibility for a lawsuit.

“I do not support waiving this for everyone,” he said. “I would only support it for military backgrounds because of the wealth of experience and knowledge that … anyone with that kind of background would bring.”

Council President Paul Elchert said he opposed the change to the requirement. He spoke about a lawsuit in Winston-Salem, N.C., about a 68-year-old man who was turned down from serving as a police officer.

Councilman Jim Roberts said the city owed veterans the chance to become officers.

Stevens also said that if a certified officer moved to Tiffin, they would have to complete a refresher course and be younger than 35 to become eligible.

Councilman Rich Cline said he wanted to look into the age requirement that would stop certified officers from transferring to Tiffin.

Councilman Joe Hartzell said the committee should look into the issue to look at the feasibility of Amory’s request.