Interim police chief named by board

Published 4:26 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2019

By Myra Bean

Bobby West has been named the interim police chief in Sardis after the resignation of Steve McLarty Wednesday.

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McLarty had told Sardis Mayor Lula Palmer he was planning to resign at the end of the fiscal year in September, but the Board of Aldermen went ahead  and accepted his resignation early.

“He told me he knew that Sardis needed a full time police chief,” Palmer said.

West has been a police officer with the Town of Sardis for since January 2018. The Mayor and Board have already started searching for a permanent full time police chief.

In addition, there are two full time police officer positions available which were vacated by the resignation of investigator Hunter Applewhite and the car accident of Alex Aikens.

Aikens remains in a wheelchair after the March 11 accident which killed Ericka Hughes. Applewhite took an engineering job in Southaven.

The police department was a big discussion of the board at the budget meeting Wednesday afternoon. Tourism Director Greg Davis said Sardis really needs two more officers in addition to the six officers plus police chief it already employs. Two officers would come at a cost of around $70,000 including salary and benefits.

Alderman Clarence Jones came up with a scheduling plan for the police department which would not cost more than they pay now and cut down on overtime. Palmer said she likes that plan and hopes to implement it with the new chief.

The police department is budgeted over $340,000 in the next fiscal year, which is 31 percent of the proposed $1,090,210 of the general fund.