The talk of eliminating a supervisory rank is on the table for YPD.

"The fewer detective sergeants that we have, the more patrol officers we can have," said Anita Davis during a safety committee meeting on Thursday. 

The Youngstown Police Department learned Thursday council can eliminate the detective sergeant position without police recommendation.

Davis said back in 1987, the council voted to combine the detective and sergeant positions to detective sergeant, giving the department a better bang for its buck and better flexibility. The position of Chief of Detectives was also eliminated, according to Davis. 

"At one point, we had sergeants who had two lieutenants in charge of them and a captain, and yet on a turn, they had less supervision. The detective sergeants are their supervisors," Anita Davis said.

Now, Councilwoman Davis is proposing to eliminate the position through attrition. 

"In other departments around the country, the detective division is not comprised of supervisors. Supervisors are supervisors," she said.

"Promotions go beyond money. It enhances your career and morale and does a great deal when a person is promoted," said Jimmy Hughes, Safety Committee Chair and former Police Chief. "But, enhancement is always going to be about the dollars now."

Captain Jason Simon said in the meeting there are 14 detective sergeants in the criminal investigative division and one in the special victim’s unit. If the council moves forward, current detective sergeants would not be stripped of their title, but no patrolmen would be promoted to that rank. The police department showed a large presence during Thursday's meeting, strongly disapproving of the idea.

"As long as I'm Chief of Police here in the City of Youngstown, that will never happen," Chief Carl Davis said during the meeting.

"When I saw us lose 20 sergeants from 50 to 30, our ranks actually in the patrol division shrunk," said Captain Rod Foley. "We never got any decent raise out of that and then they shrunk."

"You keep on talking about rank being top-heavy. In all actuality, we're bottom light. We're not top heavy," said Lt. Gerry Slattery.

Several officers agree all patrolmen work towards the next rank up, which is a detective sergeant. Police Chief Carl Davis said this would be detrimental to the department's hiring and retention.

"Recruitment and hiring not having available promotions would hurt furthermore people wanting to come here," said Lieutenant Brian Butler. "And this will cause people that are here to leave."

"Eliminating this position is not a bad idea," Hughes said during Thursday's safety committee meeting, packed with YPD officers. "No one in this valley has supervisors doing detective work. Every agency in Mahoning County don't have supervisors doing this work. We're the only one."

"Any type of reduction or no opportunity for promotion would kill morale and it would also have a negative impact on the Youngstown Police Department," Chief Carl Davis said to 21 News. 

Davis said the lack of patrolmen also contributes to the excessive overtime costs.

"The sole purpose of the police department is for the benefit of the people," Anita Davis said. "That's what we're supposed to be looking at. Not just looking at numbers. Things need to change. When we had people leave, we had 2-3 sergeants resign and others were promoted. So, that reduced the patrol rank by 3 more people," Anita Davis said. "It's low because people leave but also because people get promoted."

"My main reason I don't want the position eliminated is because when candidates come onto the police department, one thing you look forward to is advancement," Chief Davis told 21 News. "We are losing officers to other agencies and I believe reducing rank in any way would contribute to that."

Committee members Samantha Turner and Amber White did not give their opinion on whether the position should be eliminated Thursday.

Finance Director Kyle Miasek said department layoffs are not on the table. No decisions were made during the meeting on Thursday. The safety committee plans to look further into the concept.