The ranks of the McComb Police Department will see some more manpower following the hiring of two officers Tuesday night. Mayor Quordiniah Lockley broke a tie vote for the hires.

The city board hired Charles Bonds and Scott Carnegie.

Bonds has been certified for nine years and worked with the Pike County Sheriff’s Department and Mississippi Department of Transportation, as well as a military police officer in the Army.

Carnegie is a retired state trooper who ran a division in the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

“I worked with the sheriff’s office until my second child was born, and I wanted to take a break from law enforcement — something a little safer, but I found law enforcement is where my heart’s at,” Bonds said.

Though Carnegie was unable to attend the board meeting, Police Chief Damian Gatlin praised his work with the MHP. Carnegie briefly ran for the state Senate District 37 as a Republican last year but withdrew his candidacy before the primary.

Gatlin said Carnegie was a “very distinguished member of the Highway Patrol.”

“He is looking to come back to see how he can add to the department and help us move forward,” the chief said.

Selectmen Ted Tullos, Michael Cameron and Shawn Williams voted to hire the officers, while Selectmen Devante Johnson, Ronnie Brock and Donovan Hill opposed.

During the vote to hire Bonds, Brock motioned to table the vote, but that failed 3-3, with Lockley breaking the tie. During the vote to hire Carnegie, Johnson motioned to table that vote as well, but it also failed 3-3, with Lockley again breaking the tie.

Cameron and Tullos asked why Brock and Johnson wanted to table the votes, but they gave no reason.

In other business, the board:  

• Heard a presentation from local home school students regarding ideas for the revitalization of the old city hospital.

• Noted that a parade will be held 10 a.m. Saturday for McComb native Charvarius Ward, a cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs.

• Approved the payment of $54,329 to Griner Drilling Service Inc. for a water well replacement, $4,200 to Bethany Stringer for the preparation of financial statements and $542 to the McComb-Pike County Airport Board for runway drainage improvement.

• Accepted donations of $2,000 from CrimeStoppers for the police department, $25 from Addie Wimberly, $14.32 from Supermarket Operations Inc. and $26 from the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. for the police department.

• Approved clothing allowances for detectives Victoria Carter, Brian Boyd and Delre Smith for $500 each.

• Adopted a resolution to transfer 18 obsolete self-contained breathing apparatuses from the fire department to the Summit Volunteer Fire Department and approved a budget amendment for the fire department to replace tents that the department loaned to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency that were destroyed.

• Took no action on a request from Selectman Ronnie Brock to discuss department head evaluations.

• Approved a proclamation celebrating February as Black History Month.

• Met in executive session for two hours to discuss personnel, although the board didn’t mention the position being discussed, as well as litigation involving the McComb Housing Authority. Lockley said the board made no announcements or took any action and did not further discuss the matter when asked on Wednesday.

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