LPD has two jobs open

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another job has opened at Lewisburg's Police Department, according to city officials who said options were still being weighed Tuesday night on what to do about an earlier opening.

Options include: advertising for applicants; and reaching back into a pool of people who sought employment with the Police Department. Nearly a month ago, the Police Advisory Board recommended Chaplain Shaun Grant for hire as an officer.

But then, after realizing a majority of the City Council preferred someone with police training and experience, City Manager Eddie Fuller refrained from hiring Grant, who's also an associate pastor at the First Assembly of God, 1191 West Ellington Parkway.

And now, there are two openings on the force because Officer Jackie Sands has accepted a position as a deputy for the Maury County Sheriff's Department, Fuller and Police Chief Chuck Forbis said Monday. Sands' last day here is Nov. 19.

"He's given adequate notice," said Fuller who apparently saw no cause and effect relationship between Sands' resignation after three councilmen noted that hiring Grant would cost money for training and that he's not worked as a policeman.

Fuller anticipated speaking with various people about the two options on Tuesday evening, the city manager said. The options were to advertise the openings or return to the pool of applicants that was used when Grant was recommended.

Meanwhile, the Police Advisory Board is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Lewisburg Police Department building at 101 Water Street. Lina Horner is the chairwoman of the board.

"The only thing that's on there is the vacancy in the department and reports from the chief," Horner said of the board's agenda.

Asked if she has a preference on what to do about the vacancy created by Officer Jennifer McDonald's resignation to give her time to care for her ailing mother, Horner replied, "I have an opinion that we should go with what we have already."

The board voted to recommend Grant.

"That's what we understood was what we would do," Horner said. "We went through the applications with the chief. I didn't look at names. That was irrelevant. We looked for experience.

"We followed what we were supposed to do," she said.

Some applicants' resumes show they have experience, Horner said. Some have certificates that are about to expire and some had certificates that had expired.

The decision to advertise for applicants or to return to the pool of applications is one for the police chief, she said.

Forbis and Fuller have spoken of that decision as one that's ultimately Fuller's responsibility, but that there is some consultation on what to do.

"The board has never been told that's our call," Horner said.

Asked what he wants to do, Forbis said he'd defer comment until later.

The City Council was scheduled to convene at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

In other business anticipated at the Police Advisory Board meeting on Thursday, Forbis could report that he's installed a mounting brace for a laptop computer in the patrol car used by corporals during the four duty shifts. The chief also installed a computer and printer.

The laptop in the patrol car will allow officers to access state and federal law enforcement crime information by making inquiries about license plates, drivers licenses and serial numbers of stolen property, among other data search and reporting tasks.

In other developments related to employees and the Police Department, 4:30 p.m. today is the deadline for people who want to apply for the open job of dogcatcher.

As of noon Monday there were 16 applications for the job that became vacant on Sept. 11 when the dogcatcher explained to Fuller about an English bulldog he'd taken home to sell and supplement his income. That dogcatcher was transferred and he's since resigned.

Supervision of the city dogcatcher is one of the tasks assigned to the assistant chief of police.