Photo submitted Pictured left to right are Russellville Police Officers Sergeant Chris Bellar, Captain Mary Lynn Smith, Captain Jeff Sanford, and Sergeant Seth Whittaker.

Photo submitted

Pictured left to right are Russellville Police Officers Sergeant Chris Bellar, Captain Mary Lynn Smith, Captain Jeff Sanford, and Sergeant Seth Whittaker.

The Russellville City Council met Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 5 p.m. in city hall for its bi-monthly meeting. The meeting lasted approximately 20 minutes before members went into executive session.

During the meeting, four officers with the Russellville Police Department (RPD) were honored for their recent promotions. Mary Lynn Smith (12 years with the RPD) and Jeff Sanford (14 years with the RPD) were promoted to Captain and Chris Bellar (9 years with the RPD) and Seth Whittaker (7 years with the RPD) were promoted to Sergeant. A pinning ceremony was held Wednesday with members of the officer's family.

Todd Raymer was another officer who received a promotion in July. He was named the new Chief of Police beginning Aug. 1st. He steps into the role after Victor Shifflett retired with 24 years in the department.

"There has been a lot of movement in the police department recently. There has never been this much before," said Chief Raymer. "We have a lot to learn and there will be adjustments. We have an outstanding group of people working for the department."

Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton said the city was blessed to be able to promote from within and that it was a testament to the people who work for the police department.

"The men and women of the Russellville Police Department protect and serve the citizens of this city and we are fortunate to be able to promote from within," said the mayor.

Chief Raymer reported he had two individuals graduating from the Police Academy this week and two more heading to the Academy in December. Detective Kenneth Edmonds will be leaving the department by the end of the year. Raymer reported he will begin the hiring process at the end of the month to bring the department to full staff.

A Russellville Citizen approached the council Tuesday asking about installing a dog park in one of the city's existing parks. The citizen said he would be willing to help. Mayor Stratton asked the citizen how much acreage would be needed to which he replied that it wouldn't take much. The mayor said he would look into the request.

Wayne Thomas, the city's Public Utilities and Safety Director, announced his retirement Tuesday effective Dec. 1, 2019. Thomas has worked for the city for 21 years.

"It is with a heavy heart I announce my retirement," said a tearful Thomas. "I am thankful for the opportunity to serve. It's been a good place to work and I've made a lot of connections and built a lot of good relationships here. It's time for me to retire. I am turning into an old man and I want to spend more time with my two grandsons."

The council expressed its appreciation to Thomas and applauded his service.