WHITMIRE — Major Todd Johnson with Newberry County Sheriff’s Department came to Whitmire to speak about extra police coverage for the town.
“This was only an informational meeting,” said Carla Taylor, the town clerk in regards to the town receiving extra coverage from the sheriff’s department.
Taylor says that Johnson would not deny the town coverage as Whitmire only has three officers which includes the police chief, Jeremiah Sinclair. Whitmire recently lost an officer this year as he transferred to a different county.
Taylor says that the town has yet to make a decision about whether they would hire another officer to replace the one who left but coverage from the sheriff’s department would amount to an extra shift from a deputy who would patrol the town like normal.
The sheriff’s department must also cover other areas without a police department such as Little Mountain, Pomaria, Chappells and Silverstreet. They also provide aid to Prosperity as needed which does have a police department like Whitmire.
According to Johnson, the sheriff’s department does have a deputy covering a shift because of the officer the town lost.
Johnson did say, “We depend on the town having a police department. However, we don’t have the manpower to give them (Whitmire) the call response they are used to.”
Johnson adds that on average there are about four deputies to cover the county during the day and five at night.
In other news, the Monday regular town council meeting was Mayor Tim Carroll and council person Chrystal Harsha’s last meeting.
Carroll has served the town for over a decade as both a councilman and mayor and ran for county council 1 but lost in a close race. He says he will now continue working and spend much needed time with his family. His term expires at the end of this year.
Harsha will also spend time with family and is currently helping out with the town’s recreation until the town makes a decision about a recreation employee.
According to Taylor, the town has budgeted for a part-time employee but has yet to make a decision.
A date for the swear-in of the mayor and council members has not been determined but it will be in January, hopefully before the regular town council meeting which is the second Monday of the month.
The special election to replace Billy Hollingsworth’s council seat depends on the swear-in date, according to Taylor who spoke with Brenda Rogers at the Newberry County Voter Registration office.
Depending on the swear-in date, the special election would be held the 13th Tuesday after the date. The council members, Michael Thomas, Dwight Lane and Cassie Fowler, are all incumbents. Hollingsworth did read his resignation letter as councilman since he will become the new mayor in January.
In other news, Taylor said that letters will be sent out to in-town residents from the sheriff’s department about the upcoming 911 address changes.
The letters should be sent out in January sometime, according to Taylor.
The next regular town council meeting will be held Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. at the community center.