Police add new officer to roster 

Human Resources Director April Aguilar (left) observes while new police officer Ben Sparks signs on the dotted line.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

The City of Minden lost a police officer to another job earlier this week, but thanks to a unanimous 4-0 vote of the Minden City Council, a new officer has been hired.

In a special-called council meeting Thursday morning, Benjamin Sparks of Minden became the city’s newest hire.

“Are you aware of the police salary,” District B councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker asked Sparks. “Is that an issue for you?”

Sparks, a Master electrician and gunsmith, indicated he can supplement his salary by contracting jobs on his days off.

“The benefits seem to be good,” Sparks said. “I think that will change one day. But it’s not about the money.”

Currently, the starting salary for a Minden Police Officer is $13.75 an hour.

Sparks said he wants to make his son proud.

“Ben had an excellent Civil Service test score of 95 percent,” said Chief Steve Cropper. “I think with us adding him to the police department, he would be a big asset.”

Earlier this month, the council voted 3-2 to rehire officer Lita Hopkins.

Wednesday was the last day with Minden Police for Patrol Supervisor Sergeant Donald Brice. Brice reportedly is not retiring from law enforcement, but he is going to another department that is willing to pay significantly more. 

Cropper said he now has 28 officers.

District A councilman Wayne Edwards was the only council member missing from the special session.

Former Minden Police Sgt. Donald Brice signs off on his last day on the job.

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