SILVERHILL, Alabama — Several representatives of local law enforcement, including Sheriff Hoss Mack and Daphne Police Chief David Carpenter, were on hand Monday, Aug. 5 to witness the swearing in of new Silverhill Police Chief Kenneth Hempfleng.
The town of Silverhill announced the hiring of Hempfleng, a veteran of the Daphne Police Department, in a Facebook post on July 17.
Silverhill Mayor Jared Lyles performed the swearing-in ceremony during the council’s work session on Monday, with assistance from Hempfleng’s brother, Kevin.
“I’m just glad to be here,” Hempfleng said. “I’m glad to be able to serve the town of Silverhill and do whatever I can to make this department better.”
Hempfleng said he wanted to convey to the public that his door is always open. “Please feel free to come by and see me anytime.”
According to a post on the town’s Facebook page, Hempfleng is a 32-year veteran of law enforcement, who most recently served the city of Daphne for 30 years; he served as a lieutenant in the support service division and patrol division.
He is a graduate of the Southwest Police Academy, as well as a 2016 graduate of the FBI National Academy. Also in 2016, he became an Alabama Certified Law Enforcement Executive.
Hempfleng began work on Monday, July 22.
“We are excited about Chief Hempfleng coming on board with us and are thrilled about the future of our department,” according to the post. “He brings a wealth of experience, and will be a huge asset to our department, and our community.”
The town had been acting with an interim chief since the resignation of Michael Taylor on March 4. Taylor served as acting chief following the resignation of Kevin Brock in January of 2018 until he was appointed to take over the position on a part-time basis in September.
Sgt. John Branscomb, who also served as the department’s School Resource Officer, was appointed to serve as acting chief following Taylor’s resignation, but resigned the position on June 3, announcing that he had accepted a position with the Elberta Police Department.
Sgt. Daniel Boutwell, who is also a certified SRO, served as acting chief following Branscomb’s resignation.
The town has also been advertising for a second SRO officer.
In addition to the chief, at full strength the town employs four full-time officers and four reserve officers.
In other business Aug. 5, Alan Killen with Civil Southeast announced that bids on the town’s more than half-million dollar water expansion project will be opened on Friday, Aug. 23, beginning at 10 a.m. at town hall.
Council members were also invited to a pre-bid meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 15 at town hall.
“We’ve gotten a lot of interest in the project,” Killen said, “with six bidders so far. I’m hoping to get a total of 10 by the time we open bids.”
The council approved a resolution at its meeting in April of 2018 to enter into an agreement with Civil Southeast regarding the running of 8-inch water lines and replacing 2-inch water lines with 8-inch water lines along East Boulevard.
In September of 2018, the town learned that they received a federal grant which will pay half of the estimated $540,000 project.
Lyles told council members on Monday that the town had also received a principal forgiveness, which would make additional funds available for the project and asked council members to consider adding a GPS monitoring system to the project.
The council also received a complaint from resident Frances Lamont concerning events at the Little Bohemian Hall.
“I’ve lived in this area for nine years and it’s only gotten bad recently,” said Lamont who told council members that she has complained about the noise at least five times over the last two years. “It gets so bad that it rattles the house. This is a quiet neighborhood, not an entertainment district.”
Lyles told Lamont that the town has a noise ordinance, but without a way to measure a decibel level, the ordinance calls to noise to be kept at a “reasonable level.”
“Rather than try to chance the ordinance, it will be easier for us to work on changing the rental agreement for Little Hall,” Lyles said. “We certainly want to take the concerns of neighboring residents into consideration. We were already planning a meeting to talk about making changes to the agreement and I will certainly let you know whatever we decide.”
When alcohol is allowed at Little Hall functions, the town also requires that a uniformed officer be present during the event.
“We will do what we can and the best thing you can do for us is to let us know when there is a problem and we will do what we can to take care of it,” Lyles said.
The council also voted Monday to allow Lyles to attend a League of Municipalities Municipal Leadership Institute Conference, which will be held Oct. 3 in Prattville.