Citizens voice concerns

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 2, 2007

LINDEN &8212; For the third city council meeting in a row, a delegation of citizens from the community came before the council to vent concerns over officers of the Linden Police Department.

Mayor pro tem Butch King assured the citizens the complaints had been addressed.

The citizens voiced concerns over two officers: Marvin Bryant, who was fired two weeks ago, and Curtis Gissendaner, who resigned the first week of September. A spokesman for the group, the Rev. Richard Lankster, said he had spoken to the district attorney&8217;s office about a formal investigation of the police department, which would cost somewhere between $20,000-$30,000.

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King responded by saying those who still had complaints about the police department should file them through the proper avenues so they can be addressed. He also said they will do extensive research before hiring anyone to replace the two officers.

King further stated in the past, the department has hired young officers who have not gone to the police academy or been certified. After being with the department for a while, King said, they found higher paying jobs elsewhere.

After hearing from the delegation, City Administrator Cheryl Hall reported on a recent conference she attended. At the conference, the city received an $800 mini-grant to pay for the Southern LINC service the city uses for communication. According to Hall, the first year of the service was no charge and they were planning to discontinue the service before they received the funds.

Councilwoman Mitzi Gates reported the first meeting of the youth advisory board was on Sept. 28 with a great response. One of the main projects the group will work on is the city&8217;s Web site.