HAMLET —The newest City Council member, Joe Robinson, was ceremonially sworn in Tuesday in front of family members at the monthly meeting.
Robinson, who was officially sworn in last month, takes the place of council member Johnathan Buie, who recently resigned due to a job transfer.
Having lived in Hamlet most of his life, Robinson said it means a lot to him to serve its citizens. Many residents know him from his tenure as a letter carrier.
Last week, Robinson filed to run for the seat in November.
Also up for re-election are seats held by Maurice Stuart — who was appointed to the council following the resignation of David Lindsay — Wendy Massagee and Mayor Bill Bayless.
Stuart also filed on Friday and Bayless filed this week, according to the Richmond County Board of Elections. Terry Moore has also filed to run for City Council.
The RO will have more on recent election filings at a later time.
City Manager Jonathan Blanton announced a new program for the Hamlet Police Department called “Adopt A Block,” which will begin Aug. 3.
Police Chief Tommy McMasters said there are 19-20 officers, including himself, and each will have three to five of the approximately 100 blocks in the city assigned to them. They will knock on doors and introduce themselves to the residents there. The block assignments will be rotated annually.
According to post on the department’s Facebook page: “By doing this, it will enable officers to get to know the community better and will give residents someone they can talk to about police matters on a more personal level.”
McMasters said he wants to “forge a relationship with the community” and that this effort is “paramount” to him.
In another community policing initiative, called a “Neighborhood Sweep,” representatives of the police and fire departments, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the local clergy will be in the Pinecroft and Briarwood neighborhoods this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. distributing packets containing contact information for the departments and letting the public know, “the department is here to help.”
The department is also hosting a Community Watch informative meeting in the City Council chambers at 6 p.m. on July 30.
Soccer registration will run through July 19, late registration runs through July 26 at City Hall.