Town nixes firearms discharge policy

W. Curt Vincent -

BLADENBORO — Officials with the town of Bladenboro on Monday handled a relatively easy agenda and a difficult closed session, all without any eyes from the public in attendance.

It wasn’t the town’s fault, since the meeting was the board’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting — but no residents showed up.

First up on the agenda was a discussion about possibly adopting a firearms discharge policy. Town Administrator John O’Daniel said he checked with Lumberton, White Lake, Elizabethtown and Chadbourn to see if those areas had a similar policy, but only Chadbourn did.

“But they said they really don’t use it,” O’Daniel said.

The policy was being considered as a means for residents to eradicate nuisance animals from their yards, but Town Attorney Alan Maynard told board members they should think long and hard about adopting the policy.

“There is no legal impediment to adopting this policy,” Maynard told the board. “That said, I strenuously recommend you don’t do it because of the proximity of the houses and the potential liability.”

The board voted unanimously to nix the policy.

In other business, the board:

— Voted to allow Treadlite to replace the roof on both the town’s police department and library, as recommended by O’Daniel.

— Approved the sale of a surplus 2000 F150 Ford truck to Nathaniel Ingram for $800, along with the sale of a surplus 1996 Ford Ranger to Russell Hickman for 1,300.50.

— Gave approval for a 30-foot flag pole to be placed in front of Town Hall and split the cost with the Woodmen of the World.

— Voted unanimously to put the original McLean Park plaque back at the park and secure it to avoid theft.

— Approved training for police personnel in the use of the Naloxone, a drug widely used in the case of drug overdoses.

“The science and reliability is pretty solid,” Maynard said. “And the N.C. General Statutes release officers from liability in using the drug.”

Police Chief Chris Hunt added that a lot of agencies are using Naloxone with great success.

“It’s saved about 25,000 lives over the past two or three years,” he said. “It’s a tool for us to use in protecting and saving lives.”

— Heard O’Daniel explain that town police officers are in training in the use of body cameras, which are expected to be in use within the next month or two. The board approved the use of body cameras.

— Spent 75 minutes in a closed session to discuss personnel. Though no specific information was shared with the media, there were signs the closed session was to discuss a town police officer.

— Set April 19 at 7 p.m. for a pre-budget work session.

The next regular meeting of the town board will be Monday, May 9, at 7 p.m.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

W. Curt Vincent

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