Middletown will add one patrol officer to its ranks after the injury of a detective earlier this year.
City Council has approved $19,668 in funding to the police department to cover the costs of an additional officer for the remainder of 2017 to replace Detective Justin Camper.
Camper, a nine-year veteran of the department, suffered serious injuries in July after a fall while on duty.
With head trauma like what Camper sustained, it is impossible to forecast when he can return to full duty, or if he will ever again be able to physically perform the duties of a patrol officer, according to City Manager Doug Adkins.
With the approved funds, the police department will be able to start training a new officer immediately and not be short-staffed, according to Adkins.
There are currently two officers in the department’s field training program, and the Patrol Division has a total of 31 officers, he said.
Camper was assigned to the department’s Special Operations Unit and was retrieving items out of a police vehicle that had to be towed on July 5, according to Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw.
Witnesses said Camper was on top of a wrecker and fell.
Middletown paramedics worked on Camper for several minutes until he was taken by ambulance from the parking lot to Smith Park, where he was flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.