Parrish Mayor Cedric Ramsey and council members William Smith, Jackie Shanklin and Alice McBee voted unanimously to officially hire and set the pay of police dispatcher Landon Harbin to that of patrol officer.
Ramsey said Harbin has recently graduated from the Alabama A-Post Police Academy in Tuscaloosa in the top five of his class, and the town council was honored to have him as an officer.
“Landon has been a dispatcher for the town of Parrish Police Department for a long time, and we’re proud to now have him as one of our patrol officers,” Ramsey said. “I know he will do a fine job.”
The council held a special pinning ceremony during Tuesday’s meeting to commemorate the occasion.
The council also had a surprise for the mayor during the meeting when they presented him with a special flag of the United States and its accompanying framed certificate sent by Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) to congratulate Ramsey on becoming the town’s first African-American mayor.
Prior to the surprise, Ramsey had made a comment on the fact that so many of his family was in attendance at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Ramsey’s wife and parents joined him as Parrish Police Chief Roderick McMonico read the certificate aloud and presented Ramsey with the flag and certificate, which read as follows:
This is to certify that the accompanying flag was flown over the United States Capitol on Aug. 2, 2013.
At the request of the Honorable Robert B. Aderholt, member of Congress, this flag was flown in honor of Mayor Cedric Ramsey of Parrish, Alabama, to congratulate him on his appointment and to honor him as the first African-American Mayor of the city of Parrish.
In other business, the council also heard from the town’s department heads, including Parrish Fire Chief Randy Phillip, who informed the mayor and council that the Parrish Fire Department was graded by the Insurance Service Organization (ISO) earlier this month, but he still didn’t have the report informing him of the exact rating the department received.
“I would also like to inform the council and mayor that we (the fire department) will also be asking the members of the Parrish Water Board to consider adding an additional $3 to each of the water bills to help fund firefighting operations for the town of Parrish,” Phillip said. “I know a lot of folks are probably not going to like that, but we’re hurting for money to keep our fire department running and to purchase the necessary equipment and firefighting gear we need each time we respond to a call.”
Phillip said the fire department needs to upgrade some equipment and purchase some new gear but currently doesn’t have the funding to do so.
“We need to improve our department so we can improve our ISO ratings, because the better ISO ratings we get, the lower the homeowners insurance will be for the folks in our town,” Phillip said. “But, improving our department takes money and if we don’t get some soon, we’re probably going to have to shut our doors.”