03/22/06 — No decision yet on Fremont police chief

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No decision yet on Fremont police chief

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 22, 2006 1:45 PM

FREMONT -- Fremont residents will have to wait a little longer to find out who their new police chief will be.

But in the meantime, the town's police force will get two new patrol cars.

The Town Board of Aldermen met Tuesday night in a closed session about the vacant chief's job and was briefed by Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie regarding the candidates for the position.

When the board entered open session after about 30 minutes, board members took no action on the issue.

McDuffie said the selection process was moving forward, but said he did not believe a new chief would be named next week during a special board meeting.

The aldermen scheduled a called meeting for 7 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the chief's vacancy and two other matters -- sewer and surplus property.

Sgt. Wayne Schwark has been serving as acting chief since Ben Reid Jr. retired Feb. 14. The 64-year-old Reid led the four-man department for about two-and-a-half years after being promoted from captain to succeed Terry Grant.

The department now has only two full-time officers, Schwark and Norris Thompson, but is supplemented by officers from other law-enforcement agencies.

In another police matter, the town board unanimously approved an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development to buy two new police cars for $40,470. No one spoke during a public hearing on the proposed purchase of the cars.

The town will put up $20,470 and receive a $20,000 grant from the USDA. Ed Causey, the area director of USDA Rural Development, explained that the town cannot sell the cars but could trade them in or declare them as surplus.

McDuffie said it was unusual for the USDA to provide grant money for such a use.