Winfield billed for police detail at Christmas Parade

Winfield billed for police detail at Christmas Parade

SMITHFIELD – Tom Winfield last week received a $360 bill from the Smithfield Police Department for officer detail shifts worked during the 2018 All Lit Up Christmas Parade.

That bill to the former state representative and parade committee chairman came after questions arose about the committee’s spending and use of advertising banners in Greenville.

Winfield said he was not expecting a bill from police. As a private entity, the All Lit Up Christmas Parade Committee is self-funded through donations and sponsorships, he said.

The owner of the Anderson Winfield Funeral Home in Greenville told The Valley Breeze & Observer for a story last week that the police detail was the only cost to the town for the parade, but after the bill from police, even that fee will no longer be the town’s burden.

After an earlier conversation with Town Manager Randy Rossi, Winfield said he was told the detail was considered volunteer work. He said he assumes that agreement with Rossi was not passed on to Police Chief Richard St. Sauveur Jr., but he said the committee will pay for the detail anyway.

Rossi said last week that police officers volunteer to work details during the parade at regular pay, with no additional costs for overtime. Winfield said he thought the town should absorb the costs for detail because the committee is doing something nice for residents.

“I guess I will have to sell another banner,” he said of the sponsorship banners that hang from Greenville’s history-inspired streetlights.

Smithfield Historic Preservation Commission Chairman Robert Leach previously said he received a complaint from an Esmond resident about the look of the advertising banners in Greenville. Some in town would like to see the committee come under the authority of the town.

According to Winfield, the banners are used to fund free community events in town, including the All Lit Up Christmas Parade, Family Fun Day and the food truck nights.

Winfield did not comment on whether he is open to making the parade committee a town-sanctioned board.

Comments

Put this under Town control and you'll never see another Holiday Parade again!!