Cloverdale council continues to deal with ongoing police issues

Thursday, March 14, 2013

CLOVERDALE -- The Cloverdale Town Council held its monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, in which the council once again addressed many of issues surrounding the Cloverdale Police Department as well as the lingering issue of finding a new town marshal.

The council once again voted to continue the search for a new town marshal. Former Cloverdale Town Marshal Jon Chadd resigned in November 2012. Since that time, Sgt. Charlie Hallam of the Cloverdale Police Department has been acting as interim town marshal.

The council recently hired a consultant, Jeff Ritorto at a rate of $40 per hour to help with the advertising and interviewing process for a new town marshal, a move that has left many to wonder why Hallam has yet to be officially hired.

Ritorto has since come up with an advertisement, which the council will publish on various free websites in hopes of getting a qualified Putnam County resident for the job.

Hallam has continued to inform the council of several issues that need to be addressed, which include purchasing new police vehicles, something Chadd had been campaigning for months before his resignation.

Hallam had previously test driven both a Ford Taurus and a Dodge Charger. However, Hallam believed that the Chargers were the best option as they are said to be a lot safer and include the standard safety features. The new Chargers also will save the town about $4,000 on each car as opposed to the Taurus.

This month, Hallam came before the board with a final bid price for the two new cars, which includes four 800-mobile radios. The radios themselves cost nearly $12,000 total. Hallam stated that the Chargers would cost $44,000 each, which includes the car, equipment and installation.

Two of the 800-mobile radios will be placed in the two new vehicles and two will go in the older vehicles.

"The limitation right now on the 800-mobile radios is everyone's getting them," explained Hallam. "If something was going on with that officer and he couldn't speak, as long as he could key up that microphone it would come up through that radio that this is who it is."

Hallam explained to the board that the radios would act almost like a computer, in a way that each car or officer would have an encryption number and activity could be closely monitored. These are the same type of radios that the Cloverdale Volunteer Fire Department also uses.

"This will definitely improve communication and safety," Hallam said.

Currently, the police department is using portable radios, which has lead to several dead spots throughout the town as well as several replaced batteries, which is a safety concern.

The council made no final decision on the purchasing of the two new police cars. It is likely that the town will make a decision in the April meeting as it continues to figure out finances.

However, one car will most certainly be purchased using the insurance money, which was obtained after a crash last year, a total of nearly $25,715. The town has not purchased new vehicles since 2007.

Following Hallam's report Ron Jones of the Park Board spoke on the recent issue of vandalism at park. In last month's meeting Jones came before the board stating that the cabin has been broken into several times along with the bathrooms.

This month, Jones stated that once again the cabin was a scene of more vandalism, as someone broke down the door, which has just recently been fixed.

Hallam believes that it is the same group of people causing these issues. Although, patrol has been increased the police department has yet to have any leads.

The town will begin looking into the cost of installing cameras around the area in hopes of resolving the issue.

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  • So the town if cloverdale has money issues but is spending money to hire a consultant to find them a new town Marshall when they have a great officer who is very capable and is currently doing the job?? Oh how governments make me laugh!!

    -- Posted by toad9800 on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 3:16 AM
  • I'm happy to see the council has not given the job to Hallam. That would be a huge mistake! Especially given his past history.

    -- Posted by captain crunch on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 10:35 AM
  • There are 3 cars parked in the town hall lot, I bet they run fine, I havn't noticed them bee moved for a long time. I could be wrong

    -- Posted by clik on Fri, Mar 15, 2013, at 6:12 AM
  • Excuse me, "captain", but I have to agree with toad...Hallam is a **** good police officer given everything he's had to put up with over the years...I'm still confused as to why this town has issues with him and an unnecessary hatred for him when I've never had any problem with him or how he does his job...what has he done to you? or NOT done FOR you should I say??

    -- Posted by helenahandbasket on Thu, Mar 21, 2013, at 11:19 AM
  • well "helen" maybe you should ask a town council member about Hallam. I'm confused..."everything he's had to put up with"??????

    -- Posted by captain crunch on Thu, Mar 21, 2013, at 12:29 PM
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