RICHMOND — Voters will be asked Tuesday if they want to change the retirement plan for the town’s police officers to make the Richmond Police Department more competitive in attracting applicants.

The benefit plan would not change, but instead of basing eligibility for retirement on age, it would be based on years of service.

Rather than having to retire between ages 60 and 65, full-time officers under the revised plan would be able to retire after 25 years of municipal service.

Town Manager Laurisa Loon said she hopes the change, if approved, would allow the Police Department, which is now down two officers, to be more competitive in its recruitment. Richmond Police Chief James Donnell is now the department’s only staff member.

“It was a collective discussion with the police chief, select board and myself,” Loon said. “We are constantly trying to find ways to encourage applicants to these types of positions, so this is a benefit we wanted to add.”

The change would have little impact on taxpayers, but would increase to 12.8% from 10.2% the amount the town contributes to the police benefit plan. Loon said she did not have the exact amount of money the town would contribute, but said the change is minimal because it is already built into the budget and not utilized because of the Police Department’s staffing shortage.

If the updated retirement were to pass, it would be effective immediately, pending a new hire, according to Loon.

There are no contested local races.

Voting is set for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Richmond High School at 132 Main St.

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