Leachville City Council recognizes officers

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Police Chief Keith Evans (right) presents commendation plaques to State Trooper Tony Austin, Leachville Policeman Mitchell Lasater and First Responder Mark Johnson. (Town Crier photo/Nan Snider)

Police Chief Keith Evans recognized State Trooper Tony Austin, Leachville Policeman Mitchell Lasater and First Responder Mark Johnson with commemorative plaques from the City of Leachville Monday, Aug. 12, during the regular council meeting.

"We wanted to show our appreciation for their quick actions that led to the apprehension of the suspect in the attempted murder of James Clark, which occurred during early morning on Sunday, July 14," Evans said. "Without their alertness and quick actions the suspect may have eluded capture. The attempted murder took place on County Road #17, when the invader went into the wrong house and stabbed Clark. Clark was later airlifted to the Med in Memphis."

Policeman Chuck Brown reported on recent officer training.

Brown announcedthe Leachville Police Department has been accepted into the DLA Disposition Service program that allows police departments with fewer than 10 officers to apply for supplies and equipment from the Department of Defense.

"The Department Of Defense will retain property ownership, while we can get equipment that can benefit us," Brown said. "We would pay a one time fee of $500 then apply for the equipment we need from a list of available items. We need one rifle in our department. They usually run from $1,200 to $1,500 each. If all we get out of the program is one rifle we would have already saved $800 to $1,000. They have binoculars, MREs and lots of equipment we could use. We have to agree to return the equipment we get on loan after we are finished using it. Hopefully we can budget $500 next year for future needs, should this work out."

"Perhaps we could get some disaster supplies, like cots, blankets, etc.," Alderman David Wallace said.

Brown agree to address the council before making selections from Department of Defense, as some equipment will need to be insured and inventoried.

Brown will serve as the authorized person in charge of the program, along with Police Chief Evans.

Brown also reported talking with Buffalo Island Central Superintendent Gaylon Taylor about teaching a first responder class on the Monette campus. They also talked about setting up a sub station on the Leachville and Monette campuses. This would include a locked office in the school, which could be used by designated police officers. The officers would use this space to drop in and do general office work on the computer and check emails, while away from their main offices. The school board will address the request at the Aug. 15 board meeting.

"BIC is not able to afford a full time security officer on duty at all times, and this would give great visibility with law enforcement officers in the schools," Brown said. "Students would get used to seeing police officers going in and out at unplanned times and get to know them better."

"We are in good shape financially," Mayor Sheila Spurlock said. "I have had people ask me that, and I wanted to make that clear.

"We also received our first payment of $1,500 from the four-lane highway tax, which we will get every month. This will be for street use only and is a part of a 10 year state plan."

Fire Chief Mark Johnson reported Lee McMann had resigned as fireman and Donald Smith and Terry Oliver will be added. Their probation period will end in December, then they will be voted on in January for full accreditation as firemen.

The council passed Resolution 2013 FPG for the application of a GIF Fire Protection Grant.

They also passed Ordinance 2013-1 on all three readings. The ordinance transfers administration of the retirement coverage for eligible members of the Leachville Pension and Relief Fund to the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System (LOPFI), and authorizes the chief administrative officer to enter into an irrevocable agreement with LOPFI. The council agreed to the 15-year plan for payment.

The council agreed to hire an adult over age 55 with an income of less than $10,000 for custodial services at city hall.

Mayor Spurlock said the work on annexation is still ongoing.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, at city hall.

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