Town to adopt employee policies related to politics

 Culpeper Town Council is set to adopt new employee policies regarding political activity.

  Included as part of the consent agenda for Wednesday’s regular meeting, the proposed amendments to the employee manual replaces an existing paragraph with nine paragraphs, including one banning town employees from also serving on town council – with an exception.

  The exception is that town council members can work for the town if they make less than $5,000 annually, as in the case of Culpeper Town Councilman Frank Reaves, Jr., a former sheriff’s deputy who now works part-time for the Culpeper Police Department as a park attendant.

  According to Culpeper Town Clerk Donna Wise, Reaves falls below the income threshold spelled out in the new policy, and is therefore able to continue his seasonal employment.

  Culpeper Town Manager Dewey Cashwell added that the councilman has served ably in the park attendant position.

  “It’s a much more challenging position in which to serve than many might think,” Cashwell said. “The position requires maturity, self-discipline and courtesy and Mr. Reaves has received several compliments from the police department for his work.”

  Also covered by the new employee policy are guidelines for town employees engaging in political activities – they may participate in such when they are off the clock and not in uniform. Town employees are allowed to vote while on the clock and in uniform, per the policy modeled after policies in the cities of Lynchburg and Front Royal.

  Town employees will not be permitted to engage in political activities while performing official duties for the town or use any town property or equipment to engage in political activities, according to the new policy.

  “The components of this section are designed to promote public trust and confidence in town government by ensuring that it is free of actual or apparent influence of partisan politics and that employment and advancement in the town are based on meritorious performance rather than political service or affiliation,” according to the new policy.

  It also designates that no employee can use “the prestige” of their position on behalf of any political organization or party and prohibits town employees from discriminating in the provision of town services or responding to requests for services based on political affiliation.

  In addition, “Town employees are prohibited from suggesting or implying that the town has officially endorsed a political party, candidate or campaign.”

Culpeper PD getting new vehicles

The Culpeper Police Department is on track to get some more of those black police cruisers and SUVs already patrolling town streets.

A town council committee last week recommended spending about $205,000 to purchase four 2015 Ford Police Interceptor sedans ($124,676) and two 2015 Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicles ($81,317) to replace K-9 vehicles.

The town will purchase the vehicles from Sheehy Ford in Richmond, according to a town report.

“We have purchased all of our new vehicles from this business and they are very familiar with all the necessary police equipment and specific needs of our agency,” the report said. “They order and install all equipment on-site to include emergency lights, sirens, prisoner transport systems, radios, radars, MDT stands and in-car cameras.”

Sheehy Ford offers a turn-key ready police vehicle upon pickup, a vast advantage to the Culpeper PD, according to the report.