Middlesex officers to receive take-home cars

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MIDDLESEX — Town commissioners approved a policy Monday evening that allows the police department to assign vehicles for officers’ use on and off duty.

The policy, which will go into effect once the additional police cars purchased through a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant arrive in the next few days, is designed in part to “maintain high visibility throughout the town,” “provide quicker response of off-duty personnel when they are called back to duty because of an emergency” and “provide increased incentive and morale of members of the police department.”

Police Chief Mike Collins said this policy is part of departmental best practices and procedures guidelines that will be completed in early 2019.

Vehicles are to be assigned to “non-probationary” officers who reside within a 25-mile radius of Middlesex town limits. Collins said the policy would cost the town an additional $2,772 per year.

Collins also praised the efforts of Middlesex Police Officer Roger Shearin, who saved a woman who was trapped in her car and submerged in water on Monday afternoon.

The board moved forward with a budget amendment to move $10,000 to the police department in order to purchase a new roof for the department’s building. The estimated cost from contractor Dale Brown Roofing is $16,400. A motion to either approve an estimate of $6,885.16 from contractor Window World to replace the upstairs windows in the police department versus a $3,760 estimate to repair and paint the windows was postponed until a later date.

A motion to hold a public hearing during the December commissioners’ meeting to address the town’s proposed water and sewer system development fees was approved. The draft of the fee proposal remains active for review and feedback through Nov. 23 in accordance with the 45-day public review and comment period.

After a closed session, the board approved the police department’s request to hire Gerod Farmer as a part-time police officer at the rate of $14 per hour and hire Tyler Mooring as a full-time police officer at a salary of $32,000 per year.