Clanton Council honors police officer of the year

Published 1:41 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Clanton Police officer Sgt. Donald Giles was recognized as the Officer of the Year during the Clanton City Council meeting on Aug. 14.

“We appreciate you and all the work that all of you do protecting our town,” Mayor Billy Joe Driver said.

A resolution in Giles’ honor was presented by State Rep. Jimmy Martin.

Giles thanked Martin, the City Council and the police department for the recognition.

“I just think it’s well deserved,” CPD Chief Keith Maddox said. “He is an excellent officer. We have many good officers, but he did just a bit more this year. He is a good officer, and we are proud to have him.”

Giles joined the Clanton Police Department in 2002 after having served with the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office. He is now the shift manager for the patrol division.

Support for the overall department was shown with a presentation of a blue and black flag stating “We Support Our Police.” Similar flags can be seen lining Highway 31 and downtown streets. Maddox thanked the council for their support of the department.

Police business continued to be discussed as the council considered a request by Officer Neil Fetner. The request was for an unpaid leave of absence for 180 days.

“He requested either a leave of absence or period of time at part-time status to kind of wind down his job,” Maddox said. “It is really just for the transference of the position over to another officer to do his job.”

Maddox said having Fetner part-time for a while would make for a smoother transition.

Maddox said Fetner has accepted a job with the state. However, a formal resignation letter had not been presented to the council prior to the meeting.

A motion to grant part -time status failed. Council members Mary Mell Smith and Awlahjaday Agee voted in favor.  Council members Jeffery Price and Sammy Wilson as well as Driver voted against the motion. Council member Bobby Cook abstained.

Price said he was alright with granting an unpaid leave of absence, but “I don’t want to pay someone just to show us how to do something.”

Wilson made a motion to accept Fetner’s resignation, pending receiving a resignation letter being submitted. This motion passed unanimously.

Also during the meeting, the Council approved:

— Paying bills for a John Deere tractor and a side cutter for $120,823 and hauling trash for $15,546.

— Purchasing a street sweeper and Bobcat with a front loader.  Driver asked that one person be designated as the primary driver for the vehicles to ensure the best care and upkeep is maintained.

— requesting an easement from a landowner in order to fix a drainage pipe.

— A one -time “payment to all retired employees and beneficiaries of deceased retires, who retired prior to May 1, 2017.”  Driver described the funds as a cost of living increase. The State Legislature recently approved allowing local governments to make this payment. The amount to be dispersed totals $11,240. Wilson abstained from the vote.

— The beginning steps were taken to consider closing a portion of a Baker Avenue at the request of adjoining land owners. A hearing for the issue was set for Sept. 25 during the City Council meeting.