FP Hires New Police Chief

FP Hires New Police Chief

By Marla Jones, Managing Editor • marla@southerntorch.com

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — (Full video below) The Fort Payne City Council held their last regularly scheduled meeting of 2020 on December 15. 

In new business, the Council voted on the new Chief of Police. The field of applicants had been narrowed down to two finalists: Lee Traylor, who currently serves as Captain of the Fort Payne Police Department, and David Davis, who serves as DeKalb County Sheriff Office Chief Investigator.  

Phillip Smith nominated David Davis with John Smith seconding his motion.

Council President Walter Watson went on record as saying that he felt that we should promote from inside, stating that he thought Captain Traylor has done an excellent job and did not want to send the message that if you worked hard you still may not get a chance of promotion in the department.  He went on to say that he felt Traylor should be considered for Chief but whoever was elected, the council would be behind them, “one hundred percent.”

The Council then approved the hire of David Davis in a unanimous vote as the new Chief of Police. Davis has over 24 years of experience in law enforcement. 

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office released the following statement regarding the hire of Davis by Fort Payne: “Our office would like to extend our congratulations to Chief of Investigations David Davis, on being named Fort Payne’s new Police Chief. David Davis is an outstanding officer and phenomenal leader. He will be greatly missed, but Fort Payne will be extremely benefited by Chief Davis’ true passion for Law Enforcement and leadership that he brings to the table. There is no doubt Fort Payne will be moving forward as Chief Davis will take it to the highest, most professional level possible.”

Nick Welden released the following statement regarding Davis leaving the Sheriffs Office for his new position: “Even though it is tough to lose someone of this caliber, it is such a blessing knowing the working relationship we will have between the two Agencies. Not only will Fort Payne benefit, but all of DeKalb County.”

The Council recognized Rita Hill with a plaque commemorating her 33 years of service (1987-2020) in dispatch for the City of Fort Payne. 

The Council passed the following resolutions:

  • 2020-49: accepting the lowest qualified bid for the paving project at the new school for $150,968 to Wiregrass Construction
  • 2020-50: accepting the lowest qualified bids for the Terrapin Hills sewer project and the wastewater plant upgrades (will run from 49th Street at pump station and terminate at pump station at Dead Mans Curve-This will include upgrades to equipment with a price for all three projects of 4 million.  The City has been approved for 8.3 million through State Funding)
  • 2020-51: granting tax abatements to Nucor for an addition to their plant
  • 2020-52: approval of the agreement between the City and the Alabama Department of Transportation for the DeSoto State Park project

The Council made the following board appointments:

  • The DeKalb Cherokee Gas Board has six (6) members whose term expired on November 30. The Population of Fort Payne is over 14,000 so an additional seat can be added.   After discussion the council approved the following for the Board: Steve Parker, Scott Chadwick, Brandi Lyles, Steve Eberhart, Brian Baine, Johnny Eberhart and Lynn Brewer. The following were approved unanimously with the exception of John Smith voting no on Lynn Brewer and Johnny Eberhart.
  • The Fort Payne Improvement Authority has two (2) members with terms expiring on December 31. The Fort Payne Water Board has one (1) member with a term expiring  December 18. Watson stated that a discussion needed to be made by the next meeting. Councilmembers Phillip Smith and John Smith expressed that those applicants needed to be interviewed and that they did not know who they would be voting for without interviewing them. 

“You are sending the wrong message out there. Hey, lets get more involved in the community but hey we know who we are going to vote for so don't bother,” stated John Smith. The Council agreed to accept applications for the vacant positions until 12/29/20.  

The Council approved the alcohol license applications for Cracker Barrel and Jefferson’s.

The Sanitation Department announced that during the Holidays, garbage will run as regularly scheduled. 

The Fort Payne Council will meet for their first meeting of 2021 on January 5, 2021.

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