WM Council gives PD nod to hire grant writer

WM Council gives PD nod to hire grant writer

Mayor: ‘ We feel it will open the door to some larger grants’


The West Memphis Police regularly respond to urgent calls. But the WMPD decided to make a call of their own to beat a pending deadline. Police Department officials discovered a grant for which they qualify and asked the West Memphis City Council for permission to hire a grant writer to get it.

The ordinance went straight to the floor for consideration during the May 5 City Council meeting.

“We are eligible for a grant through the police department,” said Mayor Bill Johnson. “I just found out about in the last two days and they’ve known about it for three days. It has to be in by the end of May.”

The grant was viewed as a gateway to a wider array of new funding options for the department.

“It’s a small grant, but we feel it will open the door to some larger grants,” said Johnson. “To get it done, we need some outside help.”

The city holds a policy to keep above reproach re- garding certain circumstances with relatives working together. City Council was asked to pass an ordinance to waive nepotism concerns and hire Norrita Langston to pursue the grant. The mayor said she comes with a demonstrated ability to land grants.

“This lady is Captain (Robert) Langston’s wife, and we have to have an ordinance before we can do business with her,” said Johnson. “She has written some grants for the school and been very successful.” The city council heard the ordinance read out three times and approved the hire.

By John Rech