by Janet Dabbs
The Sunrise Beach Board of Trustees presented Sunrise Beach Police Department (SBPD) Chief Jeff Campbell with an appreciation award for 25 years of dedicated service Monday, Aug. 12 during the trustees’ board meeting at city hall.
“Chief Campbell has done an excellent job stepping into the chief’s position and over the past 25 years,” Sunrise Beach Mayor Curt Mooney said.
Campbell served with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office before (and after) coming to Sunrise Beach, He worked a total of 16 years with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. He is married to Tina. They have eight children and 18 grandchildren between them.
“It has been an honor to serve Sunrise Beach and the citizens. I have made a lot of friends and hope I can continue to do a good job,” Campbell said of his award.
Sunrise PD officer Pete Fox was also promoted to the position of sergeant at Monday night’s trustee meeting. Fox has been with the department five years. He has served in law enforcement nine years, including employment with the Camden County Sheriff’s Office and the Richland, Dixon, Crocker, and Iberia police departments.
“Sgt. Fox is doing a good job on the street and in administration duties. I am glad to have him on the police force,” Campbell said.
The SBPD currently employs three full-time officers and one part-time officer. The full-time officers include Campbell, Sgt. Fox and officer Michael Schmidt. Officer Schmidt was hired in June 2019. Part-time officer Tim North was hired by the village in July 2019. Former officer Larry Deves retired two-weeks ago.
According to Campbell, a male who committed vandalism at a laundromat in Sunrise Beach was located through posting a video online of him committing the crime. A warrant was filed for his arrest. Kelly Cagle, the owner of the laundromat, attended the meeting to congratulate and thank SBPD officers for locating the vandal.
The SBPD received a $1,000 Walmart Community Grant. According to Campbell, the funds will be used to purchase cell phone reception boosters, first for the chief’s car. If they work efficiently, additional boosters will be purchased for the other two police cars. “We lose signal a lot and when there are a lot of visitors to the area we sometimes can’t even make a call,” Campbell explained. “This is an officer safety issue.”
The SBPD also received a $975 donation from the Sunrise Ridge Condominiums. The funds had not been committed to a purchase designation, as of Monday, Aug. 12.
The Sunrise Beach Police Department (SBPD) responded to 208 calls for service in August. The calls include six outside accident agency assists, nine alarm calls, three animal complaints, 12 arrest assists, one assault, 10 assist outside agencies, two burglary/break-ins, 15 calls referred to outside agencies, nine check well-being requests, seven official court duty, nine domestic disturbances, two drug seizures, three escort people/vehicles, 15 follow-up investigations, three juvenile reports, seven lock-out assists, one lost/found property, 14 motorist/medical assists, three open doors found, two pedestrian checks, four property damage reports, 13 quarry blasting, five remove debris/stop sign/stop light problems, two stolen/recovered vehicle reports, two storm siren tests, two suicides/threats, one tampering/vandalism or harassment, one threat, one traffic/event assist, one littering, seven trespassing/poaching, eight warrants served/verified, 12 watch/report/locate suspicious person/vehicle and 20 business checks.
Campbell took a report of alleged property damage on Wednesday, July 3 to a residence on Pisces Road. The homeowner claimed blasting at the Stingray Airport, also located on Pisces road, off Route TT, caused the damage. The airport is in the village, but the home is in Camden County, so the call was referred to the Camden County Sheriff’s Office. “They claim the blasting has caused cracks in their foundation,” Campbell said. “I believe this will be settled in civil court.” The private airport is owned by Steve Catron.
Dogs left in hot car
Campbell responded Saturday, July 6 to a call about two dogs locked in a hot car at the Bear Bottoms Resort in Sunrise Beach. On arrival, Campbell witnessed the dogs in the car and found them to be hot and panting. He located the owner of the dog and cited them for animal neglect. “Do not leave your children or pets in the car when there are hot temperatures,” Campbell warned. “It is just common sense.”
In the traffic division, SBPD officers issued 100 warnings and 60 tickets. The tickets included; two for careless and imprudent driving, one for driving while intoxicated, four for driving while suspended, 14 for failure to register/display, one for an improper license plate, five for no proof of insurance, two for open alcohol containers, 19 speeding tickets, 11 stop-sign violations, one for animal neglect and one ticket for littering.
In other police business, Campbell reported work will begin in September to install a new roof and remodel the SBPD building. The police department building was built in the 1960s.
by Janet Dabbs