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Bladenboro Town Board approves police uniform change
By: Erin Smith
The Bladenboro Town Board met on Monday night and dealt with a light agenda. During the approval of the agenda, the board added a second item to the agenda to discuss police uniforms.
The board heard briefly from Bladen County Health and Human Services Director David Howard who was there to introduce himself to the members of the board. Howard gave the board a brief overview of his background. He told the board he earned degrees from UNC-Wilmington and UNC-Greensboro. Howard told the board he has most recently served in a similar position in Hyde County.
Mayor Rufus Duckworth told the board he had received a phone call over the weekend from an officer requesting to be allowed to wear their BDU (battle dress uniform) while on duty at night.  Chief Chris Hunt spoke to the matter. He explained that the normal uniform the officers wear during the day have a tendency to reflect light.
Hunt said when an officer is chasing a suspect and needs to hide in order to capture the suspect, the regular uniforms tend to reflect light at night. Hunt said suspects can sometimes spot the officer’s hiding place when they wear their regular uniform.
The board unanimously voted to approve the officers wearing their BDUs at night.
Town Administrator John O’Daniel gave the administrator’s report. He told the board that dirt had been added to an area along the railroad track near Councilman Billy Ray Benson’s home. O’Daniel said CSX railroad officials were agreeable to the measure.
O’Daniel also said he had been in contact with Duke Power about adding street lights to some areas of town.