The recent termination of a Carlisle city police officer after a positive drug test led to the City Council moving into executive session during its Monday night meeting.
In the emergency services portion of the meeting, the council unanimously voted to move into executive session while discussing the police department and the employment of now former officer Mark Collins.
“I’m short an officer,” Chief Eric Frank said.
“Who left,” Mike Walker asked.
“Mark Collins,” Frank replied.
“Of his own accord,” Walker asked. “Did he resign?”
“We’re going to discuss it here in a little bit,” Todd Turner said.
Turner then made the motion to move into executive session to discuss “personnel matters.”
The general statement that the council is going into executive session for discussion of “personnel matters” does not satisfy the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, as a more detailed description is required. This allows the public understands the “specific purpose” of the executive session or private meeting. While the motion was not challenged during the meeting, Mayor Ray Glover later confirmed the council went into executive session to discuss the termination details of an employee.
Collins was terminated from the Carlisle Police Department on Nov. 20, following two positive drug tests for amphetamine. As the city is a drug-free work place, employees are subject to random drug testing.
Collins was a former officer at the Carlisle Police Department prior to moving out of state. After returning to the area, he was rehired as a dispatcher on July 4, 2016. Collins was put back onto patrol as an officer on Nov. 2, 2016.
According to Frank, the department has opened the position for a full time officer position to current city employees and have a few interested in the position. The position will be open to employees until Thursday. If the position is not filled by a current city employees, Frank said the city will the open the position to outside applicants.
Following executive session, the council reconvened in regular meeting and no action was taken.
In other business, the council unanimously voted to pay the Arkansas Municipal League Workers’ Compensation and Trust of $8,658.
The next Carlisle City Council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 19 in the Civic Center.