Five new certified officers were hired last week on the Philadelphia Police Department at the recommendation of the chief who told the Mayor and Board of Aldermen that they were "desperately" needed.

Julian Willis and Lindsey Kidd were hired as corporals; Melissa Miles, as a patrolman; and Barry Truhett and Robert Smith, as sergeants, in a unanimous decision by the Board of Aldermen.

The motion came after Police Chief Bill Cox presented the board with the resignation of officer Justin McDill, who is leaving for position with an agency closer to his hometown.

At the March 5 meeting, aldermen accepted the resignations of two others officers, John Miller and Greg Tubby.

Miller was unable to meet the police academy requirements and Tubby went to work with the Sheriff's department, Cox said.

The police chief said the recent resignations left his department "desperately" in need of the five certified officers in order to maintain an adequate force.

Ward 4 alderman Cecil Nichol, who also serves as Police Commissioner, agreed but noted there would still be more than five open slots on the force.

Despite that, Cox said the five new officers would allow his department to remain at the needed level to keep the city safe.

"This will keep our shifts full and running," he added, noting additional officers would cut down on overtime costs.

Three of the five new officers are former employees of the police department.

"Some of these people, we've still got their uniforms," Nichols said, noting Cox had gone back and looked at previous officers in the hiring process.

Ward 1 alderman Joe Tullos agreed, saying, "I've already hired them one time."

Earlier this month, Cox asked the aldermen to move over $6,712 in seized cash to the police budget. The money was taken during a series of drug arrests.

He also made a series of budget suggestions in an effort to reduce costs including switching to bulk purchases for items such as oil.

Cox also suggested switching to one printer for the department in an effort to save money on paper.

In other action, he told aldermen that he was increasing patrol checkpoints in the city.

He noted that while no big "pushes" were coming up, checkpoints would be in place for the next holiday, Memorial Day.

"But we're apt to do them anytime," he said.