Joe Earp’s first meeting as a Booneville city councilman lasted less than 10 minutes.
During the meeting, which also marked the return of Guy Robson, the council heard only from Booneville Police Department Lt. Ben Villarreal, who notified the council the BPD dress code would be changing.
“We’re going to be changing our uniform, going back to a button-down dress top, professional look,” said Villarreal.
Mayor Jerry Wilkins also noted the BPD is in the process of upgrading the computer systems in use, portions of which were purchased in 2006.
Villarreal said the department is hoping the project can be accomplished with less than a $7,000 expenditure. The money will come from the department’s portion of the city’s one percent sales tax.
“Thanks to the generosity of the city of Booneville and our sales tax we keep everybody well dressed, well equipped with new cars,” said Wilkins. “We’re probably one of the best equipped department’s for a town our size.”
The BPD receives 22 percent of the proceeds of the tax, which amounted to almost $150,000.
Villarreal also went over a year end activity and crime report for the department, which included 414 arrests, 581 reports taken, 253 tickets written, 102 arrests for other agencies and 264 cars unlocked.
“We’re hitting the ground running already this year,” Villarreal said. “this month alone we’ve made 35 arrests, six accidents, 18 vehicle unlocks and 30 reports.”
The meeting also attracted incoming Booneville Development Corporation/South Logan County Chamber of Commerce President Jerald Baker, who said he looked forward to working with the council during the year.