After receiving a fifty-cent hourly pay raise for his recent Crisis Intervention Team certification, East Carbon Police Chief Sam Leonard surprised city council officials Tuesday by asking them to pass the increase on to East Carbon receptionist Bessie Powell. The council unanimously affirmed Leonard's request.
"I would like Bessie to get the money," he said, "because she's under-appreciated. She does a lot for me."
"I agree with Sam and I also have Bessie do quite a bit for me as a city council person," said Council Member David Maggio. "I appreciate your sentiment and I agree wholeheartedly that what you're doing is a good thing."
Powell joined the city in 2002 and has gone without a raise for the past two years as the city has kept a wage freeze on office employees over that period. In addition to serving as the city's clerk, working for local police and the council, Powell also serves as the East Carbon Justice Court's Deputy Clerk.
With Leonard's CIT certification, the East Carbon Department became the only police force in the Castle Country to have 100 percent of its officers trained to deal with a situation involving a person experiencing a mental health crisis.