City Officials Commend Police Chief

Smithville Chief of Police Mark Collins seems to be off to a good start.
During a meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen last week, Chief Collins was commended for his efforts in making police more visible in the city especially around school zones and for reducing overtime within the department.
Collins was named to the position November 2 and took over on November 23.
“I enjoy seeing a lot of the extra patrols in the school zones,” said Alderman Josh Miller.
“I think that’s important. There’s a lot of people and a lot of activity around those schools at that time and the more we’re there the more visible we are and people are aware of it. We sure don’t want any accidents or anything to happen. We don’t want them to happen to anybody but we sure don’t want them to happen to a school bus or those kids. That’s important,” said Chief Collins.
“I’ve had a lot of good comments about the police being out and working,” Mayor Jimmy Poss said.
“I’ve had comments about that too. You (police) are more visible lately it seems,” added Alderman Gayla Hendrix.
“We plan on continuing that too”, said Chief Collins.
Alderman Shawn Jacobs asked Chief Collins about how he was dealing with overtime in the department. “I know we’ve had a lot of overtime in the department in years past and I know because the way officers are scheduled some of that is necessary. But how is that going right now? Are you being able to control the amount of overtime? Is that something we need to address as far as personnel?
“In the future I’m going to propose to the council a plan that I have come up with how I would love to see the department staffed and manned. I know we’re in the middle of a budget that we’ve got in place now and I don’t want to do anything to disrupt that but I have got a plan and program I would like to see. It would require a new officer and with that I could staff and put people where I need them most which would definitely cut down on overtime. I believe the overtime has gone down in the last month or so. I do try to keep a better watch on that. I know overtime is going to happen at times. Its inevitable. We’ve got court and other things that are going to happen. But I don’t like to use overtime when we don’t have to. We need to save it for a rainy day. With the new schedule I would like to see in the future, it would eliminate that because there would always be an extra person on shift in case someone calls in sick or something happens,” said Chief Collins.
Meanwhile, Chief Collins said the department has received a new police car and assault rifles that had been ordered before his arrival as Chief. “The transition into the new job has gone well. The assault rifles that you guys (city officials) ordered are here. We’re in the process of getting those handed out to the officers. I have handed them out already to the supervisors. We’ve got to get some training. I want to make sure everyone has training before I issue those. We’re in the process of getting that set up. We should have it done this month. We should have them (assault rifles) all in the cars with all the guys (officers) soon. I think there are only two officers that have not had AR training in the past so we’re in pretty good shape there. And the new patrol car is here. We had the lights put on (last Wednesday). It is now an official patrol car,” he said.
In November the aldermen voted to accept a bid from King’s Firearms and More Law Enforcement Division in Columbia to purchase thirteen fully stocked semi-automatic Smith & Wesson assault rifles for the police department. The total cost is $18,223.

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