New Haines police hire Ryan Rutland was let go this week after just a few months on the job. That brings the Haines police force down to three.
“It was decided not to continue with his probationary period,” said Acting Chief Joshua Dryden. “So he is no longer a member of the borough police department.”
Dryden said police officers have a one-year probationary period. He would not elaborate as to why Rutland was let go, saying only that it was a ‘personnel issue.’
Rutland joined the department in September. He said his family moved from Texas for his wife to take a job as the Haines Dolphins Swim Coach. Rutland is a U.S. Army veteran who had not worked in policing before.
A new officer, Brayton Long, joined the department in late November. Dryden says soon, he and Long will be the only police in the department. That’s because Officer Ken Van Spronsen is a temporary hire, and he is leaving by January. Dryden says it will be a two-person police force until they find the right people.
“We’re just being extremely picky on who we hire,” he said. “I have applications, I just — I’m not gonna hire somebody to put ‘em on the road. It’s not fair to the community. Too much of that has been done in the past, hiring just to fill a uniform. We’ll do the best we can until we find the right people for Haines.”
The police department has been in flux for a while. Interim Chief Robert Griffiths departed mid-November, and Dryden took over for him while the borough figures out what hiring process to use for a permanent chief.
In a review of the police department that was released earlier this year, staff turnover was one of the major issues cited.