Silverhill interim police chief Branscomb resigns


SILVERHILL, Alabama — Just three months after being appointed to fill the roll as interim police chief, Sgt. John Branscomb announced during the Silverhill Council meeting on Monday, June 3 that he is resigning from the department to accept a position with the Elberta Police Department.

“Friday will be my last day,” said Branscomb, who also served as the town’s school resource officer.

Branscomb said Monday that Sgt. Daniel Boutwell was in the middle of training as a school resource officer and should be certified by the end of the week.

The council tabled action at its Monday, April 15 meeting to move Branscomb from the role of interim chief to permanent chief.

The town has been advertising for an additional SRO position, officials said, and also voted to advertise for the chief’s position.

Mayor Pro Tem Steve Brooks, who presided over Monday’s meeting in the absence of Mayor Jared Lyles, said the town has a few applications in for both the chief and the SRO position and should soon begin the interview process to fill both positions.

At its last meeting May 15, the council voted to approve a similar application process employed by the Foley Police Department, which includes standardized test questions and may include having to take a lie detector test.

Branscomb was appointed as interim chief following the resignation of Michael Taylor on March 4.

Taylor served as the town’s acting chief following the resignation of Kevin Brock in January of 2018 and was hired to take over the position on a part-time basis in September.

The town currently has four full-time officers and four-part-time officers. Branscomb announced during Monday’s meeting that the town had hired a new officer, Aaron Askew.

In other business Monday, the council discussed honoring former Mayor Tim Wilson for his years of service to the town.

Wilson was in the middle of his third full term as mayor when he resigned after the conclusion of scheduled business at the council’s April 15 meeting.

A life-long resident of Silverhill, Wilson served several years as a council member, including mayor pro-tem, before being appointed to fill the vacant mayoral seat in 2007. He was elected to his first full term as mayor in 2008, retaining his seat unopposed in 2012. He narrowly defeated former council member Shirley Stephens in the 2016 election.

A 1983 graduate of Robertsdale High School, Wilson worked for the town of Silverhill from 1983 to 1987 before going to work for the city of Robertsdale. He served as supervisor for the city’s sanitation department before being placed on medical leave.

A reception for Wilson will be held following a future council meeting. Brooks said he expected the council to set a date for the reception at its next meeting on June 17.

The council also voted Monday to purchase service pins for town employees.