Eclectic council allows cops to take cruisers home

Eclectic police officers are now allowed to drive their cruisers home while working four-day shifts, with the stipulation that the vehicles remain within a 30-mile radius of Town Hall. (Amalia Kortright/The Observer)

The Eclectic Town Council unanimously approved on Dec. 17 an ordinance to allow Eclectic police officers to use police vehicles to drive home while working a shift.

According to Mayor Gary Davenport, members of the EPD work a four-day shift and are off three days.

“We have officers that live strategically around the town, so now the whole town is covered,” Davenport said. “When those police officers get a call and go on duty, we felt like there was a need for them to be safe by using a vehicle that had emergency lights and sirens, versus trying to get to a location to assist in their private vehicle.”

Davenport said the council stipulated officers must keep the vehicles within 30 miles of town hall.

“That was based on the fact that our sergeant, (Fred) Griffin, lives right at 30 miles away from here,” Davenport said. “We have had officers that lived in Tuskegee or Auburn and we don’t want that to happen again, so we have a 30-mile radius.”

Additionally, Davenport said the council held a first reading of a proposed ordinance to develop a fire safety bureau. Davenport said the ordinance was designed to allow a member of the Eclectic Fire Department to do fire safety inspections of businesses within town limits.

“We did not realize until about six months ago that, when we approved our building ordinances, that we did not do that and we were supposed to,” Davenport said.

A public hearing on the ordinance is set for 6 p.m. on Jan. 30.

“There’s some work that needs to be done with that ordinance, as far as doing some rewriting,” Davenport said.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved the town’s participation in the Alabama Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday, which runs from Dec. 22 to Feb. 24.
  • Discussed the town’s Hope for Donalsonville initiative.
  • Discussed the importance of residents’ participation in the 2020 census.