Ordinarily the state POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) Commission reimburses the Mount Carmel Police Department for each officer’s training salary supplement.
According to city records, the window for the MCPD to file required paperwork with the POST Commission seeking that reimbursement, as well as proving that each officer completed training required for POST re-certification, was between late December through mid January.
During that time period, however, MCPD Chief Jeff Jackson had been fired by Mayor Larry Frost, and the department was being led by interim chief Philip Robinette.
In late January Jackson was reinstated as chief by a majority vote of the BMA.
On June 10 Robinette was fired by Jackson.
Jackson told the BMA Tuesday he received a letter from the POST Commission on June 24 stating the re-certification and reimbursement paperwork had not been submitted.
“That paperwork was supposed to be submitted in January, and I wasn’t here in January,” Jackson said. “I testified before the Post Commission on July 15. At that time they decided they would accept our training, and we were still going to be certified as police officers.”
Jackson added, “However, because the paperwork was not filed, they denied our salary supplement. That was no fault of the officers. The officers did everything they were supposed to do.”
Jackson asked to the BMA to cover that $600 supplement for each of the department’s six full time officers — four of whom are current, one who resigned, and Robinette who was fired.
Jackson said he believes paying the two officer who are no longer with the department is “the right thing to do” because they completed the required training.
Mayor Frost’s motion to pay the officers $600 each was approved 7-0.
In other business Tuesday the BMA:
• Honored the accomplishments of local resident and pro bass fisherman David Mullins.
Vice mayor Chris Jones to presented Mullins with a plaque recognizing him as an “ambassador of good will” for the town, and honoring his victory this past May in the Bassmaster Elite Series 2016 Bass Pro Shops Southern Open Tournament in Dandridge.
• Heard a request during citizens comments from James Rhoton of Meadoview Springs Lane asking the BMA to strengthen fireworks regulations, if not ban fireworks in Mount Carmel altogether.
Rhoton said fireworks cause a serious disturbance in his neighborhood, upset dogs, and create litter in residents’ yards. He also expressed concern about fires due to the recent draught.
• Agreed to accept a $52,000 T-DOT Safety Grant to perform several improvements on Hammond Avenue from Main Street to Lloyds Chapel Road. Mayor Frost said those improvements will include striping, signage, widening part of the road, and adding shoulders. There is no required local match.