Town continues search for chief, considers adding part-time officer

By John Underwood / john@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 3/13/18

SILVERHILL, Alabama — The Town of Silverhill is continuing its search for a new police chief, but the Silverhill Town Council said at its meeting Monday, March 5 that it would consider adding a …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Town continues search for chief, considers adding part-time officer

Posted

SILVERHILL, Alabama — The Town of Silverhill is continuing its search for a new police chief, but the Silverhill Town Council said at its meeting Monday, March 5 that it would consider adding a part-time officer to help alleviate overtime concerns.

“There have simply been times that we don’t have anyone to cover a shift,” said Sgt. Michael Taylor, who has been named interim chief for the department until a new police chief can be found.

Taylor and other members of the department again addressed concerns with council members about excessive overtime in the department and the need to hire a part-time officer, who could fill in when other officers were sick, on vacation or had to attend required training.

Several of the town’s officers addressed council members at the March 5 meeting with a prevailing theme, “We are doing everything we can to serve the town, but we are at the point of exhaustion.”

“We currently have a part-time officer who can only work weekends,” Taylor said. “We need someone who can fill in at any time.”

When asked if he had someone in mind that the town could hire, Taylor said that he did.

The town currently has three fulltime and one part-time officer. Taylor has been serving as acting chief since the resignation of Kevin Brock Jan. 25.

At the council’s meeting Feb. 5, council members were asked to consider hiring a fulltime officer rather than replacing the police chief position, but Town Attorney Josh Myrick told council members Feb. 19 that as long as the town has a police department, according to state statute, it must have a chief.

“There is nothing in the law that limits the length of time the town can operate with an interim chief,” Taylor told council members at Monday’s meeting. “But as long as there is a police department here, you must at least have an interim chief.”

Council members said they would consider hiring a part-time officer as long as the position is temporary.

“We need to do this with the understanding that it is temporary,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jared Lyles. “As long as they know that going in, I don’t have a problem with it.”

Mayor Tim Wilson said following the March 5 meeting that the town is currently advertising for the position of police chief and while a few applications have been received so far, none of those received is being considered as a viable applicant.

Council members Steve Brooks and Wayne Gruenloh were not present at the March 5 meeting.

In other business, March 5, the council approved Ordinance 443-03-05-2018 amending and replacing fire department Ordinance 118-02-04-1966 and Ordinance 204-04-07-1980.

The ordinance was approved with changes after the council addressed concerns with the fire department during a special meeting Feb. 26.

The council also authorized upgrades to the town’s fire department which were proposed by Chief Josh Rice during the council’s meeting Feb. 19.