The council reappointed Powell, hired part-time officer Chuck Lilley to a full-time position and hired part-time officer Chad Gurganus at the last regular council meeting. This, along with the possible hiring of another part-time officer in the near future, means Oakman residents will now have something they have been begging for — round-the-clock police coverage. Powell said the new staff will be able to cover all but a few hours each week, and those hours the phone will still roll to one of the officers’ phones to ensure that residents who call the department will speak to an Oakman officer.
“In the past, limited manpower kept us from being able to serve the citizens as effectively as we wanted to” Powell said.
In addition to news hires, the department has also been able to make some much-needed upgrades, Powell said. This includes getting three patrol cars operational, equipping the patrol cars with new lights, computers, printers and enabling e-site access so they can efficiently run tickets and reports from the vehicles.
“These improvements will help us be able to serve the community better than we have in the past,” Powell said. “We had to get the kinks in the department worked out so we can make sure the citizens’ best interests are being served.
Powell credits the improvements to the new mayor and council, who have already shown their commitment to improving the department for the good of the city and the people in it.
“Things are running smoothly since the new administration took over,” Powell said.
“The new council and mayor are committed to the city and improving things for the residents. Having everybody focused on that common goal is going to make us all able to do things more effectively.”
Residents of Oakman can reach the police department at 205-622-3200.