'In God We Trust' going on MCPD cars next week

Jeff Bobo • Aug 1, 2019 at 12:16 PM

MOUNT CARMEL — The “In God We Trust” decals which were approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen last year to be placed on city police cars will likely be in place at some point next week.

Alderman Jim Gilliam pointed out during last Thursday’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting that he and Mayor Chris Jones made a motion last September to put “In God We Trust” on the Mount Carmel Police Department fleet.

“They have not been done yet,” Gilliam said. “I drove around and checked as many as I could find. The police striping has not been done, and that was requested at the same time.”

MCPD Chief Ken Lunsford Jr. wasn’t chief when that vote was taken and told the BMA he wasn’t aware of the “In God We Trust” decision.

Lunsford told the Times News he ordered the vinyl decals earlier this week, but they aren’t scheduled for delivery until Aug. 7.

Grant funds for police Tasers

The BMA also agreed last week to participate in a Public Entity Partners Safety Partners Matching Grant program which will cover half the cost of purchasing two new Tasers for the police department.

Lunsford said the two Tasers would be in the possession of the two officers on duty, and when their shift ended, officers from the next shift would pick them up.

A new Taser costs between $1,000 and $1,500, and the grant will pay half.

“It may possibly keep you from having to shoot somebody,” said Jones.

“It’s another tool we can put in our toolbox,” Lunsford noted.

A successful Block Party

Mount Carmel Block Party co-organizer Alan Cloyd spoke during the citizens comment period during last Thursday’s meeting to thank Beverly Boling from Horizon Credit Union, as well as Eastman Credit Union, for sponsoring the annual Block Party earlier this month, which was another big hit.

Cloyd also acknowledged the hard work of co-organizer Darby Patrick, as well as the police department, fire department, and other city employees who helped make the event possible.

“We had an awesome Block Party, we had an awesome fireworks, and everybody was bragging on our Block Party this year,” Cloyd said.

Proposal for less paid time off

Gilliam made a motion to reduce the amount of sick or personal paid time off (other than vacation) for city employees from two days per month to one.

Gilliam noted that city employees currently receive eight hours off per pay period, and there are 26 pay periods in a year. His motion was to reduce that to four hours per pay period.

City Attorney John Pevy noted that personnel policy changes must be presented in the form of a resolution, and because there was no resolution on the agenda, Gilliam’s motion would have to wait until next month’s BMA meeting.

Farewell to popular officer

The BMA applauded MCPD Officer Chris Vaughan, who is leaving to join the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“I want to wish you the best, and I want to thank you for a job well done,” said Alderman Pat Stilwell. “I really think you’ll succeed in being a state trooper. I just hope I don’t meet you on the road.”

The city also recently hired longtime HCSO Deputy Scott Alley to serve as assistant police chief.

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