Winnsboro Police Department promotions were denied by Town Council members in their regular monthly meeting Monday.

Town Council member Eddie Dunn made a motion to promote Officer Jamarsa Hill to sergeant but the motion died from a lack of a second. The move to promote Officer Jerry Davis from sergeant to investigator died from a lack of a motion. 

Police Chief Will Pierce made both recommendations.

According to Pierce, Hill has been a Winnsboro police officer for one year while Davis has been a Winnsboro police officer for “two or three years.” 

Town Council members were concerned with incomplete employee evaluations and not giving senior officers a pay rate boost.

“I don’t see no excellence marked,” said Town Council member Jerry Johnson, while looking over officer evaluations. “Why is that? They are all marked just good?”

Johnson also asked Pierce why no evaluation questions for both officers were answered.

“Everybody, including myself, has room for improvement,” Pierce said.

Town Council member Tyrone Coleman offered advice for Pierce.

“We need to take care of our senior officers before these guys,” Coleman said.

Pierce answered Colemen saying he looked at each officer’s performance over individual seniority. 

Town Council members made a similar move earlier this month in a special meeting where they refused to hire an officer.

Former Delhi Police Officer Mary Williams was not hired by Town Council members Sept. 3 who was accused of using excessive force and a fraudulent diploma in the previous department.

In May 2021, Richland Beacon reported Williams resigned from Delhi Police Department due to “personal reasons.” In the report, Delhi Mayor Jesse Washington said, “From what I understand, she applied for the (Delhi) job using a fraudulent diploma. I checked her employment records at the town and couldn’t even find a diploma in them.”

Williams also had a civil suit against her for using excessive force, false arrest, state law violations and vicarious liability and liability. James E. Gray filed the federal complaint on Aug. 11 in U.S. Western Court.

In a related matter, Town Council members unanimously hired a police department dispatcher, Christal Williams from Rayville.

Meanwhile, Winnsboro town crews continue to pick up roadside organic debris even though Department of Environmental Quality has shut down burning at the dumpsite.

The dumpsite, located on 1490 Industrial Drive takes vegetations, white goods and wood waste.

“Hopefully by the end of this week, we will have covered all of Winnsboro, and then we will start from the beginning,” Dumas said. “The street department is picking up the bulk of the wood, limbs and trash and putting it in the dumpster. They are also putting mattresses and things are put on the side of the road and putting it in trailers and hauling it off.”

Dumas said hauling debris off was a necessity because it was “piling up” at the dumpsite.

“It’s a little bit slower, but we are getting it done,” Dumas said.

In their July meeting, Town Council members passed an ordinance prohibiting residents placing tree branches or stumps more than five feet long and 24 inches in diameter on the town’s right-of-ways.

“During the month of February, we allowed residents to put limbs beside the roads due to the ice storm damage,” Dumas said in the July meeting. “People are now putting trash and limbs in ditches and right-of-ways. These piles are restricting water in our ditches and extending out and blocking our roads. This ordinance will alleviate that problem.”

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