By Bonnie Culverhouse
With the recent retirement of a captain, Minden’s police department has been freed to restructure its Rank and Position Plan.
With only District E councilman Andy Pendergrass absent, the city council voted unanimously Monday to support Chief Jared McIver’s plan to eliminate one of three captain’s positions and one Officer First Class position and appoint a second deputy chief.
“By doing this – and hiring one new officer – it betters our department and betters the city,” said McIver during a speaker-phone conversation during the council workshop Monday. “The money is there.”
District A councilman Carleton “Buddy” Myles said he was in favor of the chief’s ideas.
“Since he’s been in office, crime has gone down,” Myles said of the chief. “I trust him completely. If he feels like this is good for the city, then I’m all for it. Let him cook.”
Once the council voted in favor of the change in structure, they voted unanimously to appoint as deputy chief Lt. Chris Cheatham, an 18-year veteran with the force.
According to the plan, Cheatham will supervise the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and Patrol. Deputy Chief Tokia Harrison will oversee the Juvenile and Administrative Division.
In other business, they council approved the following:
• Authority to advertise for bids for Public Works Control Center;
• Resolution authorizing credit card signatory power;
• Condemned properties;
• Four-way stop, intersection of Fulton and Columbia streets;
• Ordinance No. 1139, annual bridge maintenance report;
• Resolution for annual certification of compliance with State of Louisiana Off-System Bridge Replacement Program;
• Resolution requesting that LaDOTD Division of Aviation provide funds required to complete improvements at Minden Airport, specifically as described in the Capital Improvement Program application for state financial assistance dated Sept. 2023;
• Resolution authorizing Mayor Nick Cox to execute an agreement with LaDOTD for improvements at the Minden Airport;
• Budget and Financial report for August 2023;
• Fire report for Sept. 2023;
• Police report for August 2023; and,
• Four resolutions concerning Louisiana Community Development Block Grant programs.