LUMBERTON — Five Lumberton police officers were recognized Monday for going beyond the call of duty.
Anthony Maynor, Joe Butler, Layton Bartley, Lt. Pete Monteiro and John Scott were each presented with Pride in Lumberton awards during the Lumberton City Council’s regular meeting.
“Some people are made to be the police and some are made to call the police and these gentlemen have proven they were made to be the police,” Chief Mike McNeill said after the meeting. “They’re well-trained and they believe in doing what’s right for any citizen.”
Maynor, Butler, Bartley and Monteiro were honored for their efforts to save Julius Smith, who was shot to death on Chambers Street on July 17. The officers provided first aid to Smith until EMS arrived and kept a crowd leaving a nearby church calm.
“At a time in our nation where police are taking a lot of heat for a lot of things that are going on, these officers did not let that bother them. They did not see color, they did not say, ‘well it’s not my problem.’ There was a citizen lying there bleeding. These officers went beyond the call of duty and they started to render first aid immediately,” said Councilman John Cantey.
Councilman Chris Howard said the officers’ conduct is a testament to the department’s relationship with Lumberton residents.
“For the jobs that you do facing danger each and every day, thank you,” Howard said.
Scott was recognized for his work to rescue Nathan Jenkins, who drowned in the lake at Luther Britt Park on July 9.
“Officer Scott, without regard for his own safety, dove into the murky waters of Luther Britt Park in an attempt to find Mr. Jenkins,” Cantey said.
Councilman Leon Maynor, who arrived at the park as the rescue effort was underway, took the opportunity to thank Scott, who is his cousin, and other city and rescue personnel for coming to Jenkins’ aid that day.
“They didn’t even hesitate,” Maynor said. “It was amazing how they responded.”
Two city councilmen — Cantey and John Robinson — were also honored for their own service to the city. Cantey has represented Precinct 5 for 10 years and Robinson has represented Precinct 2 for five years.
At the start of the meeting, Mayor Bruce Davis proclaimed Aug. 8 in honor of the Lumberton 15U Dixie Belles softball team. The team recently won the Dixie Softball World Series after going undefeated.
In other business, the council:
— Scheduled a special meeting for Aug. 23 at 11 a.m. to discuss how to use a $94,340 grant from the state earmarked for downtown revitalization and to hear the Department of Transportation’s landscaping proposals for Exit 22.
— Voted to award a $296,896 contract for the demolition of two warehouses on First and Town Commons streets to 4 Seasons Site and Demo. The council also authorized the Public Works Department to hold a hearing on whether to pursue a claim against the bond of the lowest bidder on the project, who has refused to sign paperwork required by the federal government.
— Ratified a July 26 telephone poll in which City Council members voted unanimously to continue a contract with Preservation North Carolina to market the former City Hall and fire station. Under the contract, the nonprofit is reimbursed for expenses associated with trying to sell the 1917 building.
— Voted to annex three lots in the Amberdale subdivision, which is off of Meadow Road.
— Referred to the Planning Board a request for a conditional-use permit from Justus 4 LLC, which is seeking to open a Woody’s Bar-B-Q at 4880 Kahn Drive. The permit is needed so that alcohol can be served.
— Referred to the Planning Board four requests to rezone property that has been annexed into the city from county zoning districts to city zoning districts. The properties are 465 Kenric Road; Northeast Park, also called the Pennington Athletic Complex; 9020 U.S. 74; and agricultural property off of U.S. 301 North near Rennert Road.
— Directed the building instructor to demolish unsafe structures at 2108 and 2110 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and remove debris from demolished structures at 814 and 900 W. 24th St.
— Referred to the Planning Board a request to revise the city code limiting the height of buildings.
— Referred to the Planning Board a request to rezone property at 2300 N. Pine St. from Business Community to Business General Commercial.
— Referred to the Planning Board a request to rezone properties at 409 E. 19th St. and 406 E. 20th St. from Residential Single Family to Business Community for multi-family housing.
— Designated the following from Community Revitalization Funds: $500 to the B.B. Thompson Choir; $950 to Lumberton police Officer Joseph Frederick, who is getting ready to run the New York City Marathon for the third time; and $700 for the Redstone-Hayswood Alumni Association reunion, which was on Saturday.
— Approved permits needed for Southeastern Health to replace five signs on 27th Street.
— Authorized the city clerk to certify a petition for a ditch-tiling assessment at 2360 Oak St.
— Approved the June 2016 tax releases.
Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974 or on Twitter @Sarah_Willets.