Millsboro police officers will now be allowed to have visible tattoos, but on their arms or left ring finger only, the result of the town council unanimously approving a policy change requested by Police Chief Brian Calloway at the Monday, Oct. 4, town council meeting.
Traditionally, the police department has had a no-tattoo policy.
“It doesn’t matter what it says or what it does, it always has had to be covered” to maintain a professional look, Calloway told council members. However, after being approached by officers with tattoos who find they have special meaning, Calloway talked to officials at police agencies in towns including Laurel and Georgetown, as well as Delaware State Police, and learned that tattoos were allowed in those agencies if they were approved by a department head.
Calloway proposed the change in policy but said tattoos on the neck, face, hands or back of the head will still not be allowed.
If an officer gets a tattoo that is deemed inappropriate or unprofessional by a department head, the officer will be ordered to keep it covered at all times.
Following the council vote, Calloway drew laughter from the audience when he shook his head and said, “You won’t see a tattoo on me. My mother…”
Town manager attends conference
Town Manager Sheldon Hudson was noticeably absent from the Millsboro Town Council meeting Monday night. He was attending the International City/County Management Association’s 108th Annual Conference. This year, the conference is in Portland, Ore.
Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 3-9
Councilman Larry Gum, a longtime member of the Millsboro Fire Department, announced at the meeting that Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 3-9.
Volunteer firefighters are visiting schools and organizations and sharing literature about how to prevent fires. Children are receiving informational coloring books.
Councilman Ron O’Neal, who is the president of the Millsboro Fire Department, announced that members of the fire department had attended Plantation Lakes Community Day on Sept. 24. It was enjoyable, and they were grateful for the invitation, O’Neal said. Millsboro police officers also attended.
New police recruits introduced
Calloway on Oct. 4 introduced new police recruits Brian Jones and Travis Shockley, who recently graduated from the Delaware Police Academy, to council members.
“I told them the Police Academy was going to be like a camp, and it was, right?” he joked as the audience laughed. The recruits smiled, and the audience applauded.
Recruits shook hands with members of the council, then Calloway said, lightheartedly, “All right, gentlemen. Have a good night. You have to be up early in the morning.”
Promotions incentives offered
At Calloway’s request, the council on Monday approved an incentive to assure officers remain involved in local community events. Only officers who participate in community events for at least four hours each year will be eligible for promotions.
Bike Rodeo is Saturday
About 500 bicycle helmets will be given away to children at the Millsboro Police Department’s third annual Bike Rodeo on Saturday, Oct. 9.
Planned for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot at Lowe’s, in the Peninsula Crossing shopping center on Route 113, the event — free and open to the public — will also feature a petting zoo, free bicycle safety lights, fire department personnel with trucks and equipment, and a helicopter from ChristianaCare health services.
In conjunction with Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 3-9, fire safety information will be available.
Foods will be for sale, including from Chick-fil-A.
Canceled last year due to coronavirus restrictions, the event usually attracts up to 400 attendees, Calloway said.
The Delaware Department of Transportation will be there with bicycles and an obstacle course for children.
“Kids under 16 have to wear a bike helmet, and we want to be sure they have them. Also at the bike rodeo, they will be shown how to safely ride a bike through a couple obstacle courses. Police officers will talk to them about hand signals and general bike safety,” he said.
Coffee with a Cop planned
On Thursday, Oct. 7, Millsboro police officers planned to be at Starbucks in Millsboro for Coffee with a Cop.
The event has been promoted on the police department Facebook page, which states the public is invited to attend, have a cup of coffee with officers, talk to them and ask questions.
Coffee with a Cop was set for 9 to 10 a.m. at Starbucks in Millsboro on Thursday.
Whiskers for Wishes begins Nov. 1
Millsboro police officers will be permitted to grow beards — normally not permitted under police grooming policy — in exchange for a $25 donation in November and December to support the annual Whiskers for Wishes campaign.
Money raised is used to assist needy families at Christmas.
The campaign will be from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.
Calloway told council members that town employees can also participate and that local residents and businesses donate generously every year. Last year, more than $10,000 was raised.
Calloway and Hudson are usually among those who grow beards for the event.
Art league gets more members
A member of the Greater Millsboro Art League, while updating the town council, announced that the group’s membership has grown from 45 to 75.
Children’s Saturday art classes have begun and Members’ Only nights are being planned monthly.
Concerns about the art league closing, or having to relocate, were put to rest in May when a motion, framed to assist the financially struggling non-profit and keep it open, was passed by the council.
After hearing several comments from those in favor of the Town continuing to lease the building, at 203 Main Street, and a request for a little more time to catch up on unpaid rent, Councilman Tim Hodges encouraged proponents gathered at Town Hall to do their part to support the art league even after the meeting ended.
His motion, for the Town to enter into a one-year lease with the organization, forgive three months of rent and require Millsboro Art League officials to report financial updates and membership numbers to Town officials every month, passed and was met with gratitude from members.
Highway commercial signage discussed
The town council briefly discussed increasing the size of free-standing signs in Millsboro.
Currently, Town Code regulates sign size based on a sliding scale related to parcel acreage. The council will consider instead basing size on how far away a sign is from the road, with larger signs being allowed if they are farther from a roadway. Council members clarified that free-standing signs include signs erected on poles.