Police to get new radios, town OKs winter street cleaning
Last modified: Dec. 6
In light of recent events and the continued emphasis on department safety, the West Jefferson Board of Aldermen authorized police Chief Jeff Rose to order additional radios for his officers Monday evening.
Rose had previously received the go-ahead to order eight radios, which he said should arrive at the police department within the next two weeks, as technicians are now in the process of programming the equipment.
“The ones that we thought were working good, aren't anymore,” said Rose on the department's current inventory.
Alderman Lester Mullis said the board was reminded how important the radios are with the recent shooting of an allegedly armed Laurel Springs man by local authorities.
A West Jefferson police officer responded to that call to assist the Ashe County Sheriff's Office.
Rose thanked the board and other town officials for their continued support of the department during this time and said the officer in question was “doing as well as expected” and has been keeping in touch with him on a regular basis.
Town Manager Brantley Price said that a budget amendment might have to be made in the future to account for the extra purchase.
During a reading of his monthly report, Rose said the police department has investigated 17 auto collisions.
Additionally, 37 charges were issued on citation. The department also had nine arrests for the month of November, including six individuals on drug related charges and officer reinforced a shooting, said Rose.
Town revisits road-cleaning policy
Following the recommendation of Alderman Calvin Green, the board also gave authorization to Price to have the town's maintenance department sweep and clean downtown roads during the winter months.
Town workers already clean these roads on a regular basis during the summer, but Green cited how the condition of the streets leaves more to be desired.
Green said the streets “get in awful bad” condition during the winter in which they are not touched for up to four months at a time.
The town's maintenance staff said they could only clean the roads above a certain temperature, which can be a challenge when this type of work is typically done in the evening hours.
Green added the department should exercise their own discretion in regards to when they should clean the streets.
Eric Miller, who oversees the maintenance department, told aldermen to “keep in mind that we spend two-three hours cleaning the sweepers” after each use, but that he would be happy to oblige their request.