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Detective Volunteers For Layoff to Save Co-Worker's Job

Detective Volunteers For Layoff to Save Co-Worker's Job

The Tanners of Hamilton: From left, Eddie, 3; Ed, Keri, and Will, 2. Ed is a detective at the Butler County Sheriff's Office who will be laid off next month. Ed could have bumped another officer and gone back to road patrol, but chose not to because "it i

The Oxford Press via YellowBrix

June 27, 2010

HAMILTON — Becoming a Butler County sheriff’s deputy was a great fit and a dream come true for Ed Tanner. Protecting people is all he ever wanted to do.

On July 22, that dream will end when he becomes one of many to lose his job due to budget cuts. But it didn’t have to happen.

The 31-year-old has worked 10 years at the department, with the last three served as a detective. So he could have elected to go back to street patrol, knocking an officer with less seniority out of a job.

“But it’s not the right thing to do,” Tanner said, while sitting at his desk in the detective section. A picture of his 3-year-old son, Eddie, dressed up like his dad with a toy badge, is his screen saver. “I just won’t do it.”

Among the 23 layoffs and 20 demotions as part of the latest round of cuts to balance the budget, four detectives received pink slips last week. Two of them exercised their right by contract to take a demotion, “bumping” a position in patrol and court services.

Tanner said he and his wife, Keri, had already talked about his decision to give up his job rather than taking a pay cut and knocking another officer out of a cruiser — literally.

“We will have to do some tricky stuff,” Tanner said, including selling a car. “But we will be OK.”

Keri Tanner said they have turned to their faith when making the decision that will affect the family. Keri is a stay-at-home mom and the couple has a second young son, William, age 2.

“I agreed with the decision 100 percent,” Keri said. “I have faith in God. And you know, I haven’t had any anxiety over this. I just know we are going to be fine.”

He received a “thank you” from the officer whose job he saved.

“They just moved into a house and his wife is pregnant. Now they won’t have to give up the house,” Tanner said.

But the detective is concerned for the safety of the public with officers on the street dwindling and detectives to solve crimes becoming fewer. Tanner, like other detectives, currently has about 100 cases assigned to him.

“The solvability goes down the more people we lose,” he said.

Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones describes Tanner’s decision as well as others who have taken demotions and given up jobs to save others as “very honorable.”

Detective Mike Gutowski will return to road patrol, giving up his rank as detective so that a fellow detective who has been in that position longer could stay.

And two corrections officers, Justin Cole and Kyle Combs, took voluntary layoffs.

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