The Stoughton Police Department is creating a fourth sergeant position for supervising night operations.

The Common Council unanimously authorized the new role at its Oct. 22 meeting. The sergeant will replace a lieutenant position that has been vacant since Lt. Nathan Hartwig left the role last summer.

The decision leaves Lt. Patrick Conlin as the department’s only lieutenant, who has served in the role for more than 18 years. By reclassifying the lieutenant position as a sergeant, the move will save SPD an estimated $13,466 and will allow for coverage of a night shift from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“What we found through two cycles of the second lieutenants now in that position is that we just couldn’t consistently get them there at night because their duties and projects that they get involved in often times drifts up into the day shift,” police chief Greg Leck told the council. “We will be able to help eliminate that because we’ll have that permanent supervisor assignment at the shift now.”

Lt. Hartwig cited family reasons when he left the department and has moved to Tennessee.

“This is a real loss for the department – he’s a very good police officer,” city Police and Fire Commission chair Jon Lewis wrote in an email to the Hub.

Hartwig’s responsibilities will fall to the four sergeants, Conlin and Leck. The department is hoping to fill the sergeant position internally, Leck said.