During the bi-monthly Ripley City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 5, Mayor Carolyn Rader and the Ripley City Council unanimously voted to accept the promotion recommendations made by Chief of Police Brad Anderson.

Those receiving promotions included Jamie Hart and Ben Hart, who will take on the rank of Sergeant, and Kevin Luquez, who will carry the rank of Corporal.

“Jamie Hart has seven years experience, he’s the gun instructor for the police department right now, plus our Public Relations Officer (PRO). He’s been a great asset to the department and just recently won an award for Modern Woodsmen of America Hometown Hero,” Anderson said. “Ben Hart has four years experience, he’s our K-9 officer, as well as my vehicle supervisor. I think both of these men have shown characteristics and dedication to the City of Ripley and the police department. We’re just lucky to have them. I have a third officer who also has four years of experience, he’s a gun instructor and our evidence custodian, as well as being our first Spanish speaking officer, Kevin Luquez. He’s done great for us.”

“All three of these gentlemen have handled themselves very well in court. I think they’ve come prepared, I think they present well to the public, and they show respect to people in our courtroom, regardless of the situation. I think that speaks volumes of those three gentlemen,” Mayor Rader said of seeing them in the courtroom first-hand.

All officers will assume their new roles immediately and will receive a pay increase according to their rank.

In other business:

• Council approved the minutes from the previous board meeting as read by Recorder David Casto.

• Financial statements were approved as presented by Tom Armstead.

• In addition to the officer promotions, Anderson mentioned that Captain Kenny of the Ripley PD recently answered a call regarding a complaint of shoplifting, which turned into a drug bust where he seized 23 grams of black-tar heroin.

• Anderson also noted that officer Aaron Cullen is now out of the Police Academy and back to work. He said Cullen did very well while at the Academy.

• Jim Mitchem reported there were no issues with flushing hydrants.

• Regarding the dam situation, Mitchem said beginning Oct. 4, the city began using water from Elk Fork and through Oct. 25, had used eight-inches of water. Mitchem noted there has been some rainfall that has taken the level back up two-inches since then. He and Mayor Rader updated the council on the temporary dam situation and mentioned they are still working to obtain a permanent fix.

• Council approved the second reading to adopt and name Southall Lane.

• Council also approved the second reading to replace the entire ordinance 343.03 with State Code 17C-12-8 concerning Stopping for School Buses.

• Tim Haynes recommended moving Anthony Durback from probation to full-time employment effective Oct. 22. Council approved the recommendation.

• Anderson recommended moving Anthony Gaskins, Logan Skurupey, and Cullen from probation to full-time employment. Council approved the recommendations. Anderson reported Gaskins will be attending the Police Academy beginning Jan. 6, 2020.

• Tom Armsted requested an adjustment to the Sales Tax Ordinance. Council approved the request as a first reading.

• Mayor Rader updated the council on the exercise equipment in the Ripley City Park and stated she is still waiting to hear when it will be delivered and set up.

• The Shop with a Cop program will be on Dec. 21. Anderson said they raised over $2,000 at the spaghetti dinner fundraiser.

• Council went into an executive session. Upon their return, a motion was made to execute national prescription opiate litigation exclusion request form subject to continued settlement negotiations. Motion was approved.

• The next Ripley City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19 (today) at the Municipal Building located at 203 Church Street South.