Aberdeen board votes to place police department in charge of electric department security

By Jeff Clark/Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN – At the request of Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Randle, the board voted Tuesday night 3-2 to place the Aberdeen Police Department in charge of the day-to-day security of the city’s electric department. Ward 4 Alderman Randy Nichols and Ward 5 Alderman John Allen voted against the measure.
“Due to the theft in the electric department — there are files missing and the security cameras are never working — I would like for the board to put the police department in charge of the security at the electric department,” Randle said.
Vice Mayor Cloyd Garth asked Randle what he meant by stating that files were missing.
“These are personal files with personal information that do not need to be missing,” Randle said. “I’ve had reports of people going to the department after hours and on the weekends — this will eliminate that.amp”
The provisions Randle asked for include having a uniformed officer open the department at 7:30 a.m. and locking the doors at 5 p.m.
Randle also questioned the board on who authorized the adjustment for Signature Cabinetry, an Aberdeen business that had fallen behind several thousands of dollars in unpaid power bills. Randle also said Signature Cabinetry’s file was one of the ones missing from the department.
“The owner of Signature Cabinetry paid 50 percent of what he owed on Friday,” Aberdeen Mayor and interim electric department manager Jim Ballard said. “He also signed a promissory note where he will have to pay his current bill and one-third of his past due bill for the next three months.”
Ballard also denied that Signature Cabinetry’s file was missing from the electric department.
Randle’s request was not well-received by all board members.
“We are making a lot of allegations tonight that we have not discussed — things we don’t know anything about,” Allen said. “I mean what’s next — are we going to place the police department in charge of the water department and city hall? I don’t agree with this.”