Sergeant Delbert Carter with the Manila Police Department was recognized on Monday evening at the Manila City Council meeting as the Drug Enforcement Officer of the Year.
(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
Sheriff Sanders said this is the second year of the joint effort with the Miss. Co. Sheriff's Department and Second Judicial Drug Task Force working with all municipal agencies. This is the first year for the award to be given. The award goes to the patrolman in Mississippi County who initiated the most felony drug arrests. The closest to Sgt. Carter had eight arrests. Sgt. Carter had 14 for the year.
"We are here to present this award to Sgt. Delbert Carter, Drug Officer of the Year," Sheriff Sanders said.
Sgt. Carter expressed his gratitude for receiving the award.
"I had a good teacher and have good co-officers," Carter said. "This award
Sgt. Carter started his career in 1984. He was a dispatcher for the Manila Police Department from 1984 to March of 1988. He went to Mississippi County Sheriff's office in March 1988 and worked through March 2003 where he worked as a dispatcher, patrol deputy, criminal investigation and promoted to jail captain and administrator.
In February of 2004Carter came back to the Manila Police Department as a patrolman and was promoted to Sergeant.
Carter is a Manila High School graduate and completed a criminal justice degree from Arkansas Northeastern College and is a graduate of A.L.E.T.A., Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in Camden.
"Delbert does an excellent job," Chief Hill said. "He is always trying to get the drugs off the streets to make it safer for our kids. As far as I am concerned, he is an excellent officer. I am very proud he received the well deserved award.
Mayor Clifford Veach and the Council members expressed their appreciation to Sgt. Carter.
Mayor Veach updated the council on the status of the maintenance facility grant, water pump generators grant, and air conditioning/heating unit grant at the airport center. He said he had hoped the work would be underway on the maintenance facility but it has been a slow process. The water pump generators have been ordered and the heating/air conditioning units have been approved.
"Hopefully the work will all be done in the near future," Mayor Veach said. "The last time I talked to the census representatives I was told it would be the end of March before we receive any figures."
Manila Fire Chief Keith Bennett gave an annual report to the council members.
"We have made 139 runs this year, compared 67 runs last year," he said.
He complimented the firemen on the work they have done throughout the year.
"We will be working on getting the ISO rating down," Bennett said. "We are hoping to get it dropped by a couple of points. When I get the information on what it takes I will let you know."
Veach and the council expressed their appreciation to the fire department.
It was Mayor Veach's last scheduled meeting after serving five terms as mayor. Mayor Veach did not seek re-election. Wayne Wagner, city attorney and former state representative, won the election and will begin his service as Mayor on Jan. 1.
"I wish I was 20, I would start all over again," Mayor Veach said.
Councilman Larry "Whiz" Davis said he has enjoyed serving with Mayor Veach over the last eight years. Councilman Geraldine Cherry expressed her appreciation to the council and Mayor Veach.
"I have enjoyed my time on the council," she said. "I won't be on the council but I will be behind you."
Incoming Mayor Wagner said he is looking forward to going into office.
"I know the Council and Mayor have done a good job over the last eight years," Wagner said. ""We don't have to fix anything, just building on what is already here. It should make the transition easier. I will work with the returning council and new council members. Manila is not a big place and I've always said we have to work together for the benefit of the citizens of Manila."
Wagner said if all of the new members can be there, there will be a swearing in ceremony at 11 a.m. on Jan. 1 at City Hall with Justice of the Peace Michael White presiding.
Incoming Mayor Wagner presented a list of Mayor's salaries in 10 towns smaller than Manila. The average Mayor's salary of these towns smaller than Manila is $26,750.
Mayor Veach said when he came in office he received $750 a month and the council moved to raise the salary to $1,125 a month.
"It worked okay for me but I understand what he (Wayne Wagner) is saying. It is going to be a job and it is going to get more. It is a tough job and not always easy."
Mayor Veach said he is a sponsor for the increase.
"I wish the new members had some input," Councilman Larry "Whiz" Davis said.
"We have to have a full time Mayor," Councilman Linda Donovan said.
Councilman Leroy Douglas, who will be leaving office, said like Councilman Davis, he wished the new council had a say.
"I feel like I am voting on a budget they will have to work with," Douglas said.
Following the discussion on the mayor's salary, the council voted unanimously to raise the Mayor's salary to $26,750 a year.
Mayor Veach said he is expecting good things out of Wayne Wagner.
Incoming councilman Dale Murphy was present at the meeting and said he is looking forward to working with the council.
The regular Manila City Council meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday night of each month.