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Police chief expresses gratitude for support

Brookhaven Police Chief Bobby Bell on Tuesday thanked the Board of Aldermen and the residents of Brookhaven for their support in the aftermath of last week’s fatal shooting.

“This was one of those things I said that you can’t police,” Bell said about the incident that resulted in two deaths in the Brookhaven community. “It was tragic, and kids were involved.”

Bell asked the board and those who attended the aldermen meeting to pray for the family and officers as well, because some of them had not seen or worked a case like this. The police department is offering grief counseling for officers.

Bell also thanked the people of the city and the aldermen who called to commend the department on their handling of the case.

Jimmy Lyons of Brookhaven has been charged with murder in the deaths of Jermaine Sims Sr. and 9-year-old Jamiyah Sims. Lyons has also been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly shooting Victoria Sims, 14-year-old Takial Sims and 6-year-old Jermaine Sims Jr.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting:

• Also appearing before the board was Roy Smith, who voiced opposition to city tax dollars being used for the new ballpark. He strongly recommended that the board abstain from using any tax dollars for the park, at least until a public hearing can take place. He said that the project will likely keep the Brookhaven community separate and unequal and thinks alternative projects could unite the community better.v

In response, Mayor Joe Cox said, as of now, the city is only on board to spend up to $15,000 on the new road and reassured Smith that every child would be able to play at the new complex.

• Aldermen approved Brookhaven Fire Department Chief Tony Weeks’ request for a $2,500 revision to the budget to purchase a hydraulic rescue demo unit. The actual unit will cost $4,000. The demo unit is a combination spreader and cutter tool.

• The board approved Frank Moak’s request for permission to use city streets for the MSGP Bicycle Race on Friday, May 1, from 5 to 9 p.m.

• The board approved to hire Samantha Bona as a non-certified police officer.

• Aldermen approved pay request No. 4 from Southeastern Tank & Tower, Inc. in the amount of $42,009.23 for work completed on Ingram Street Water Tank Rehabilitation.

• The board approved pay request No. 5 from Gulf Coast Underground, LLC in the amount of $4,276.36 for work completed on 2014 CDBG Sewer Rehab Improvements.

• Aldermen approved to accept and award the lowest quote from Dixon Welding in the amount of $10,600 for the construction of the Rosehill Cemetery entrance on East Congress Street. The other quote was from Smith’s Machine and Welding in the amount of $16,200.

• The board approved the appointment, at the request of Ward 1 Alderman Randy Belcher, of Rose Powell to the Tree Committee.

• Aldermen approved the appointment, at the request of Belcher, of Edward Hayes to the Planning Committee.

• The board approved a contract with C Spire to put antennas on a tower in the city.

• Boy Scout Troop 119, led by Rollin Roberts of First United Methodist Church, attended the meeting as they work toward their citizenship and community badge.