By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – The Saltillo Police Department doesn’t currently have a designated investigator, but when the city’s new Board of Aldermen meets for the first time in July, it should already have a list of candidates.
The current board voted unanimously to begin advertising the vacant investigator position in the department so there will be a list of applicants when the new board takes office.
The position was vacated in July 2011 when then-Investigator Mark Haygood retired.
Since Haygood’s retirement, Alderman Scott Knight said he, along with Alderwoman Jewell Webb and Police Chief Steve Brooks, went through the application and interview process to replace Haygood.
“The hiring committee was thinking one way and the chief another so he suggested we hold off on the process and everything would be fine,” Knight said. “He said we had been rocking along fine without one so we agreed to leave it alone.”
In April the board denied a request by the police department to send Mark Roberts to investigator classes at the North Mississippi Law Enforcement Academy.
Board members agreed they weren’t going to pay to train an investigator since they had not been through the official hiring process for an investigator and other officers already had qualified.
Assistant Chief Prentiss Brown said Roberts had been appointed as the department’s investigator by Brooks.
Roberts told the board he was advised by his attorney not to act as the department’s investigator without going through the proper courses and certification process.
Since the current board will change in July, it voted to begin accepting applications to start the hiring process for the next board. The applications will remain sealed and when the new board members take office they, along with the police chief, can begin the interviews.
The police department currently has one case that must be presented to the grand jury before the hiring process can be completed and Brooks and Brown will act as investigators in the interim.