WALKER — The City Council on April 10 approved the promotion of one of its police officers, the hiring of a part-time officer and the acceptance of five new reserve officers following recommendations by Police Chief David Addison.
Cpl. Terry Sanders, promoted to the rank of sergeant, won praise from Addison, who said Sanders was a veteran of various law enforcement experiences and that he had earned the respect of other police officers in the department. Sanders had earlier been provisionally appointed to the rank of sergeant when a vacancy in the position occurred and the council’s action made his appointment permanent.
Robert Ardoin was named a part-time officer following the recommendation of Addison, who said that Ardoin has held several law enforcement positions including service with the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The new reserve officers approved for the Police Department are Seth Dillion, Wayne Ryan Martin, Harris Reams, Jonathan Sicard and Jonathan Spiers. The chief said he is trying to rebuild the reserve officer ranks and that the five new appointees will be a major addition to the force.
At the same meeting, the council recognized members of the Walker 11-year-old basketball team, who recently won the national championship in their age division at the National Biddy Basketball Tournament in New Orleans.
Mayor Jimmy Watson commended Jermaine Rushing, the team’s coach, for his efforts with the Biddy Basketball program in Walker. Watson said Rushing was a football star at Walker High School and that he still holds the school’s single season rushing record.
In a related matter, Watson announced that groundbreaking ceremonies for Challenger Field will be at 10 a.m. on April 27 in Sydney Hutchinson Park. Challenger Field is a specially designed ballpark for youth with physical and mental challenges. The field is being built with donations from individuals and businesses, city funds and a grant from the Cal Ripken Jr. Foundation.
The groundbreaking ceremony caps several years of planning and fundraising for the field, which will serve youths from a wide area.
The council also approved a resolution calling for support of a national effort that would require companies that sell products on the internet to pay sales taxes as do traditional businesses. The resolution, being circulated by the Louisiana Municipal Association, points out, among other things, that internet sales have crippled local businesses, especially small businesses.
The council also approved a proclamation naming April as Fair Housing Month in the city of Walker. Watson said the council approves this resolution each year to show the city’s support of the National Fair Housing Law, which guarantees each citizen the right to freely choose a home and to guard against “housing discrimination wherever it exists.”