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RBS Mayor Hires New Assistant Police Chief: Council Questions Why Job Wasn’t Posted

By Misty Green

After approving the resignation of Assistant Police Chief Chris Keen during the December 14 meeting of the City Council, Red Boiling Springs Mayor Kenneth Hollis said, “Derrick Gann… accept the hiring of Derrick Gann as Assistant (Police) Chief… I need it done in two motions… because then you have got to set the pay at $23.33 per hour.”

“I have a question about that though, maybe I am confused,” Council member Laurie Flatt declared, “when J.B. (Killmon) resigned, we posted an opening for a job… did we not post an opening for this job?”

“We didn’t post one,” Mayor Hollis replied.

“Why,” Flatt asked.

Hollis replied, “I didn’t have anybody that I felt comfortable working main up, and I did ask Jason about it and Jason (Bohanan) told me no, so, I didn’t consider any of the rest of them.”

“Umm, that’s a negative,” Red Boiling Springs Police Officer Jason Bohanan exclaimed from the back of the room, “I didn’t tell you no,” Bohanan said. “Yeah you did,” Hollis affirmed. “No, I didn’t,” Bohanan reiterated with a raised voice, “and I don’t want to get into an argument with you, but I didn’t tell you no.”

“I asked you that day point blank,” Hollis said.

“Yeah… you said, do you want to be Assistant Chief, and I said, I don’t want to make Chris mad and think that I was wanting the spot over him… is what I said, and there were two ladies sitting in there at the time and they heard everything,” Bohanan explained.

“And they heard everything I asked you and you said no,” Hollis stated.

“And, I told this guy (RBS Police Chief Joseph Woodard) that me and you had talked about it and he said that you didn’t say anything to him about it,” Bohanan added.

“Because, when you told me no, I didn’t move on,” Hollis replied, “so we’ve got an Assistant Chief Derrick Gann,” Hollis said, and silence filled the room.

“I’ve got nothing against him whatsoever,” Officer Bohanan whispered aloud.

Hollis then stated, “But there is no posting actually… we just step them up… if we wanted to step them up, then we would just step them up.”

“Did he (Derrick Gann) already work for us,” Flatt then questioned.

.”No,” Hollis replied, “ he has come in as a police officer… because we were down an officer when Chris quit, then you have to hire somebody.”

“He (Derrick Gann) has worked at Red Boiling before,” Chief Joseph Woodard stated. “I didn’t step anyone up,” Hollis said, and silence filled the room.

“Does not Derrick work for Lafayette,” Vice Mayor Linda Carver asked.

“No, he works for us,” Hollis answered, “he is here, full-time with us… and, he’s here, so whatever y’all are going to do.”

“So, he (Gann) is already hired and got on,” Carver stated.

“He is here,” Hollis answered, “he’s here working, yeah, he’s here through the week… both of the chiefs through the week.”

“I’ll make that motion,” Carver declared and was seconded by Michael Rich. Voting yes included: Helen Gregory, Donna Grisham, Linda Carver, and Michael Rich. Voting no: Laurie Flatt. Absent: George McCrary.

“Is there any… I mean,” Linda Carver began to say, then turned her attention to Jason Bohanan and continued to say, ‘”I guess this is a question for you… I just wonder if there is animosity between/in the police department?”

“They haven’t been,”  Hollis answered, “there’s nothing!”

“Is everybody good about…” Carver was stating, when Hollis exclaimed, “Jason may be mad about this, but I accommodated Jason and put him on what he wanted… Friday, Saturday, Sunday… Assistant Chief’s can’t work Friday, Saturday, Sunday… he has been the Assistant Chief here before and left… but I accommodated his schedule for him this time when he came in.”

“When I was Assistant Chief then, I worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday,” Bohanan clarified.

“But, I accommodated this last schedule for you to come in and work Friday, Saturday, Sunday… I did accommodate you, did I not,” Hollis said.

“I told Chris I could work that and he said fine,” Bohanan said.

“Yes, okay, well you have never told me anything different, so that was the schedule we’ve got,” Hollis added. “But, there are no problems in the police department whatsoever,” Hollis said, “or there hadn’t been.”

“There ain’t no problem with me and my circle,” Bohanan said, “y’all hired the man, he deserves the money… I think the world of him… there ain’t anything between me and anyone of these guys… I got their back 100%.”

In other business, the council approved the minutes from the November 9, 2023 meeting.

“The girl that was working in the office,” Hollis said, “Gabrielle Riebe took another job, but never did turn in that she was resigning, so I need the council to accept her termination,” and the council approved.

Red Boiling Springs Police Chief Joseph Woodard gave the council members the monthly activity report for the month of November, stating the department had 120 calls for service, four traffic stops, seven citations, 38 warnings, zero arrests, and five reports.

Before the discussion about hiring officer Gann, Hollis told the council, “we’ve got a resignation of Chris Keen as Assistant Police Chief…  he’s staying on part-time, but he resigned and went to Nashville.”

“But he still works for us,” Flatt asked?

“Part-time,” Hollis answered, “he hadn’t worked any since he left, but he is going to keep his part-time certification here.”

“So, he is just resigning as Assistant Chief,” Carver asked?

“No, as a police officer,” Hollis replied, “he is part-time if we were to need him or something, but he is part-time, like in someone who’ll come in and fill in… Yeah, he is no longer a police officer up here, so I need a motion to accept his resignation,” Hollis said, and the motion was approved.

Before the meeting ended, council member Helen Gregory shared a serious concern with the governing body that has recently begun plaguing the Red Boiling Springs city roadways, asking if there was anything that could be done about people walking in the pitch black of night, without reflective clothing on, and even walking near the middle of the road sometimes. Hollis mentioned the police officers can start warning them to wear reflective clothing when walking the roads at night, or to have lights on their person for safety.

Reminders about closings: City Hall is scheduled to be closing at noon on December 21, and closed December 22 and will reopen on December 26th, however will be unable to process credit card payments due to a system upgrade. City Hall will be closed on January 10th to complete the switch out. City hall will also be closed on New Year’s Day.