Parker addresses Cloverdale residents’ police concerns

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Chief Deputy Phil Parker

CLOVERDALE -- Six Cloverdale residents were present to express their desire to have Interim Marshal Charlie Hallam made full marshal and other concerns about the Cloverdale Police Department during the Cloverdale Town Council’s regular meeting on Jan. 10.

“Why are we even searching for a town marshal when we have a town marshal?” Jackie Hoffa, a custodian at Cloverdale Schools, said. “They know our school from the top to the bottom. You’re not going to have to train someone. He knows every nook and cranny.”

Firefighter Scott Haywood expressed similar feelings, saying, “I have four daughters in that school. Every one of them knows who this man is, and (Officer) Luke (Brown). They all know who they can turn to. That’s three more generations over there that look to this man as a leader in the community.”

He went on to point out that Interim Marshal Hallam is also well-known in the surrounding area, but that not everyone would like him because he’s enforcing the law.

Barbershop owner Dan Moon and 15-year resident Jake Day talked about the need for more police officers.

“The people that I’m speaking for here today would like to see the Cloverdale Police Department fully staffed,” Day said. “We’d like to see another full-time police officer and at least three to five reserves.”

Chastity Sanders, EMT personnel and a former reserve officer trained by Interim Marshal Hallam, said, “I can honestly say without reserve that he deserves that position more than anybody and would be the best fit for it.”

After all audience members had spoken, President Coweta Patton said, “Everyone has a right to their opinion, and we appreciate it.”

In answer to a question from Haywood, it was answered that Chief Deputy Phil Parker had been approached by President Patton, Larry Fidler, Clerk-Treasurer Cheryl Galloway and Town Manager Wayne Galloway.

“The council did vote on it,” Fidler said. “It was unanimous.”

President Patton also explained that only two council members went because to have three would have been a quorum, which meant that it would have had to be a public meeting.

Chief Deputy Parker was then allowed to speak in answer to the residents’ concerns.

“I’ve come to appreciate and listen to people’s varying opinions on varying topics. They have a right to voice those opinions,” Chief Deputy Parker said, “and if you’re in a position as I am in, it’s not only wise but incumbent upon you to listen.

“I met with Charlie and Luke the night before the council voted on retaining me to do this. And Charlie and I both agreed on several things. There are many aspects to being a town marshal that the citizenry doesn’t even see; in terms of policy, in terms of how you do things, how you manage the overall administrative operations of your agency. And those things are just as important as what these men do out on the street because what they do on the street can only be validated by how it’s managed behind the scenes.

“Trust me, this town can get sued just as quickly as IMPD can for a misstep by your police agency or a lack of policy that follows case law, federal guidelines, state law. Charlie and I agreed that there as some things that we need to do on the administrative part of this that I can be of service and help with. Charlie accepted and, quite frankly, told me he was glad, that would come down here and assist him with that part of this.

“I’m here to help whoever winds up in that job for as long as this board will have me and as long as I can be of assistance to your new town marshal in building their police department from an administrative standpoint.”

Chief Deputy Parker also said that he had asked Interim Marshal Hallam if he was interested in the marshal’s position. Hallam said that he was and “he will be on equal footing with any other person who applies for this position. His experience will certainly be taken into account just like everybody else’s,” Chief Deputy Parker said.

“The reason I’m here ... the town board wanted to remain neutral in this because it can be a political firestorm,” Chief Deputy Parker continued. “I have no reason to try to cause Charlie Hallam or any other applicant to this position harm. I wasn’t looking for a job when I got this one. While the board approached me on this, I am not beholden to them in terms of what they want and what they don’t want. I made that very clear to them. Whoever I bring to them, it’ll be simply because that’s who I felt with 34 years in law enforcement, was the best person for that position.”

After speaking with Chief Deputy Parker after the meeting, Hoffa said, “I asked him if he’d visit our school corporation and talk to our administrators and our superintendent. I feel good on this part because I believe he will.”

In answer to a question from Haywood, Clerk-Treasurer Galloway said that it would be a month or two before the council would know how many more officers the town could afford to hire.

In other developments:

-- Claims: The council approved the claims at a total of $439,956.39, an increase of $151,531.46 from last year’s average of $288,424.93.

-- Elections: President Patton was unanimously re-elected. Larry Fidler was unanimously elected vice president.

-- Officer Luke Brown: Interim Marshal Hallam reported that Officer Brown had returned to duty and that all was back to normal.

The next Cloverdale Town Council meeting is set for Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Cloverdale Town Hall.

View 7 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • hmm..maybe Interim Marshall said those things because he's a class act.

    Maybe the president of the council doesn't want him because he had the gall to write her kin a ticket? It's a small town and one does hear these sorts of things.

    Maybe other long-time council members are scared of Officer Hallam. He was wrongfully discharged by the council several years ago, suited, won and was reinstate. And, he got a settlement. Maybe that's the sort of history the president of the council was talking about?

    Maybe the town's attorney is afraid of him?

    Gee, officer Hallam has been nothing but a stand up guy! Wish I could say the same for the people who are afraid to allow him to serve as Marshall.

    -- Posted by letspulltogether on Tue, Jan 17, 2017, at 11:13 PM
  • Apparently Coweta didn't learn anything from the trials and tribulations the town went through 10+ years ago. It is a very dangerous road the board is going down and it seems to be leading to a pile of fresh horse manure. Remember that while you, the board, vote on all this nonsense we, the public, will vote to remove you at the next election and that includes getting rid of the clerk and her husband too.

    -- Posted by CdaleResident on Wed, Jan 18, 2017, at 8:19 PM
  • Wondering how you would be able to hold a job for the county...then one at the same time for a town.approaching someone behind everyone elses backs tends to suggest non transparency. So are the Galloway's the ines who run the town? Cant wait for the next election, should be fun to watch. Say he works fourty hours at the county and onky four hour of an evening. That would be like getting paid 31,500.00 for a part time job because we know you really cant work 80 hours in a work week and be effective.Or will he be paid by the county to go work during the day in cloverdale and still collect feom the county and cloverdale.I still dont understand how you work at your first job while working at another one at the same time.How can you be at two places at the same time?

    -- Posted by canttakeitanymore on Wed, Jan 18, 2017, at 9:41 PM
  • I know Charlie and I know Phil. They are both very good men each with their own strengths. I am proud to call the both of them my friend. Charlie is well known whereas Phil maybe not as much, so I will say this about Phil Parker - he is an honorable man who knows more about the administrative perils of operating a law enforcement agency than anyone else I know. I believe the structure and procedures he has been asked to institute will have a lasting positive impact on that department and its community. No matter who becomes Marshal, the town will be a much better place because Phil became involved.

    -- Posted by bcnelson on Thu, Jan 19, 2017, at 9:43 AM
  • There is no way that Charlie should be Marshal, he is very good with the school but that is all. When he is interim Marshal he can not keep the the other town officers in town patrolling the streets for the people that pay their wages and buy the gas,cars,etc. Patrolling Cloverdale streets,not Burma, Tile factory,I-70 unless they are requested for assistance by another officer, or by dispatch.

    -- Posted by becker on Fri, Jan 20, 2017, at 1:07 PM
  • Maybe outsiders need to meet without the town council present to get an honest opinion of the interim town marshal. According to some of these comments and comments heard around town the main issue is:. Past friction between the marshal and the council. Not the Marshal's ability to protect. Same o same o for Cloverdale. Husband and wife both involved with the council is a complete wrong. You sure wouldn't hear of such nonsense among officers trying to protect a community any place else except Cloverdale.

    -- Posted by Nit on Sun, Jan 22, 2017, at 8:08 AM
  • Becker that was a good point,but I might add that I feel the council has approach outside help in vetting a Marshal for the simple reason as was mentioned in the other comments. They wanted it to be fair without bias. I believe if more people would come to the council meeting that they will understand Their thought process. It very well could be Charlie or someone else, but I think we will get the best for our Town. I also believe that the Galloways are getting a bum rap. They work all the time. I see them there at the Town Hall on weekends and Mr. Galloway makes house calls on the weekends too. Checking on water leaks, turning water on, and checking on the drains when it rains. I feel the utility rates are high but well worth what I pay for them. Thank you to our Town Leaders for your service

    -- Posted by Franklinheart on Mon, Jan 23, 2017, at 12:12 PM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: