Harpersville officials hear police complaints
Police Department hiring and Police Department complaints dominated Monday night’s meeting of the Harpersville Town Council.
With all councilmembers present, the council approved the hiring of Jeremy Brooks of Vincent as a full-time police officer to replace Officer Jimmy Thompson, who resigned, and approved a change in employment
from part-time to full-time for Police Officer Michael V. Waldrop.
The vote to make the Police Department hirings passed with four in favor. Councilmember Theoangelo Perkins abstained.
Before the vote, Perkins noted that the although Town Council does the hiring, he had not seen an application for the police officers’ positions.
He said he could not vote for a person without seeing an application and stated that the town &uot;had problems in the past because we didn’t know the background.&uot;
Police Chief Paul Brasher, however, produced the police applications before the hiring vote.
He said with the hirings, the Police Department would have eight full-time police officers including himself. He said he has been trying since October to fill positions in his department and that he would like to have the officers in time for Christmas with so many break-ins occurring.
He noted that Brooks previously worked full-time for the Vincent Police Department. He also said the hirings will allow the town to have two police officers on duty per shift.
Mayor Gloria Tate also noted that the hirings would allow the town’s warrant officer to work issuing warrants. She said the officer has been working night shifts.
Harpersville resident Raymond Carter, however, brought complaints about police officers before the council.
He said for two months, citizens had been watching police officers at night and had spotted officers sleeping.
He complained that he was issued a ticket for not having his vehicle registration and was pulled over by a county officer at the request of a Harpersville Police Officer for a personal vendetta.
He said he had his registration in his vehicle with him but was not given time to retrieve it and present it to the officer. And he complained about one Harpersville police officer driving a vehicle back and forth to Calera.
Mayor Gloria Tate stated that complaints were to be made to a citizens committee. She said the council would not be discussing good name and character.
Councilmembers discussed amending the Police Department’s standard operating procedures to include immediate dismissal for sleeping on the job.
Chief Brasher said if that was what the council wanted, he would do it. However, there was no vote on the matter.
In other matters, the council unanimously approved court clerk training for Penny Hall. And approved the minutes of a previous meeting before the arrival of Councilmember Shirley Middleton.
Following the meeting, K-9 Officer Scott Baggett noted that while there had been complaints about driving a vehicle back and forth to Calera, he had made more than 100 drug cases since January