Skip to Content

Baxter Aldermen Discuss Need For Assistant Police Chief, Chain Of Command

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Baxter Aldermen Discuss Need For Assistant Police Chief, Chain Of Command

Baxter Alderman Willie Allison questioned the Board of Aldermen Thursday night who was second in command at the Police Department if Chief Danny Holmes was unavailable.

Allison said the issue was brought up to him by department members during Holmes’ recent sickness. He also brought up an MTAS audit of the department that made the recommendation to create an assistant police chief position. City Attorney Shawn Fry said there are potential consequences of ignoring MTAS recommendations.

“If you do not implement those recommendations you are now liable,” Fry said. “It’s the perfect set up for liability. So, concerning some of those recommendations that were made that we had a meeting about, I would encourage you strongly to do that, and if you choose to not do it you’re doing it at your peril.”

Holmes said the department had run for years without an assistant chief. Holmes said he was concerned because the suggestion of creating an assistant police chief would do away with rank in the department.

“It’s a survey, just a survey,” Holmes said. “That’s all it is, Shawn. You ask me for a survey, and I can give you my opinion. You have Lieutenant Herren here with me 13 years. We just going to take his rank away, because we can. Brian Maxwell with 20-something years of experience we are just going to say, hey you’re a patrolman again.”

Allison said it was vital that some sort of formal rank was recognized in the department.

“You don’t know who is in charge,” Allison said. “You got one officer that asks the lieutenant, hey what do I need to do? ‘I don’t care. I don’t know.’ There’s no chain of command.”

Former alderman and current Board Chairman of the Planning Commission Richard Waller said the department had been doing a great job even without a chain of command.

“As a longtime citizen of Baxter, I have all the confidence in this world in our police department and Chief Holmes, and I think most of the residents who have been here feel the same way,” Waller said.

The board took no action on the discussion.

In other business, the board approved for the Fire Department to bid on a respiratory fit tester. They also approved standard specifications for water and sewer construction in the city.


The post Baxter Aldermen Discuss Need For Assistant Police Chief, Chain Of Command appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.