Crenshaw Police

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Crenshaw mayor denies hiring police officer without approval

By Billy Davis

In a rare display of unity, Crenshaw aldermen on Thursday unloaded on Mayor Sylvester Reed for apparently hiring a police officer without board approval.

The town tussle began when the board was moving through its agenda and voting to accept the monthly pay docket. But Alderman Alberta Bradley, who serves as vice mayor, pointed out the name of the officer and said she refused to vote to pay for his salary.

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“The board hired him,” Reed immediately claimed. “He is there and hired.”

“I didn’t hire him,” Alderman Patricia Dodson shot back.

Bradley and Dodson double-teamed Reed for the next 10 minutes as the mayor became visibly frustrated.

Board attorney Mary Brown eventually waded into the matter, noting that the officer is working in a town position without following proper procedure.

“You’ve got to resolve this issue,” she advised Reed and the board.  

The mayor and board had apparently viewed the police officer’s application during a September executive session. But the board tabled any action until a background check was conducted.

At the Thursday meeting, Alderman Shirley Morgan sought to point out that two more police officers had been hired that night but never showed up for work. The lack of police coverage created a minor crisis in the department.  

But Morgan, who often supports the mayor at board meetings, eventually shook her head when Bradley asked if she approved the officer’s hiring.

“We could have called an emergency meeting,” Bradley said of the police department problem.

The matter was dying when Brown, the board attorney, wondered aloud “how (the officer’s) been working since September 15.”

“The mayor just hired him,” Bradley replied.

“Don’t you say the mayor hired him,” Reed said excitedly. “The mayor didn’t do nothin’.”