The top priority on the Helper City Council's Dec. 13 meeting agenda was recognizing several law enforcement officers for extraordinary police work during a manhunt for two murder suspects in November.
The incident occurred when two murder suspects, Lewis and Michael Heffelfinger entered the Helper area after reportedly shooting two men in Daggett County and leaving the scene with one victim's truck.
The suspects were spotted by Helper Officer Kent Allred, who attempted to stop the pair. The suspects purportedly ignored the officer's command to stop and continued traveling south on U.S. Highway 6. Allred radioed for assistance and officers from various agencies responded.
While the law enforcement agencies joined the chase, Allred continued to follow the suspects who opened fire. Allred's patrol car sustained gunshot damage, but the Helper policeman was unharmed.
The Price police department stopped the suspects vehicle by spiking the tires. The suspects, however, evaded capture and fled the scene on foot.
For the next few days, officers from all the local agencies participated in a ground search for the suspects. Eventually, the two make subjects were found and arrested near Wellington.
At the council meeting last Thursday, Helper Chief George Zamantakis presented Allred with a medal of valor for his work and bravery in the Heffelfinger case.
A special momento was given to Allred at the meeting. The grill off the patrol car was presented to him with the original bullet holes in tact.
In addition to honoring Allred, Zamantakis presented the Carbon County Sheriff's Office with a plaque to acknowledge the contributions the department made in the Heffelfinger case.
Zamantakis explained he and the city of Helper were pleased with the assistance the police department received from the various law enforcement agencies in the area during the manhunt.
Helper Officers Lynn Archuleta and Kevin Saccomano were presented with medals of merit for their work in the manhunt incident. The officers worked long hours and searched by foot for the two suspects. For the bravery, the men were honored with the award that recognizes honorable duties performed by police officers.
Finally, the distinguished service medal was presented to Chief Zamantakis for his efforts during the Heffelfinger case. The chief arranged for the various agencies to assist in the incident and committed his department to the manhunt for the two suspects. The honor is the second highest award a peace officer may receive.
After awards ceremony, the council discussed commercial garbage pick up in the city.
City Sanitation representative Wade Williams approached the council with a proposal to change the days of garbage collection for the commercial properties in Helper. The council approved the change in schedule, but asked Williams to contact the companies affected by the change.
The company plans to change the dates in January or February. Williams will contact the companies before the change takes place.
The Helper Firemen's Ball will take place Feb. 9, 2002 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the civic auditorium.
The annual event has become a tradition.
The ball will be organized by chairman Kyle Fox and vice chairman Kent Allred.
The council was informed by police Chief Zamantakis that the police department is planning to conduct justice court hearings for the city via video camera.
The process will allow the court to hear cases involving incarcerated individuals at the county jail.
The technology will eliminate police transport and ensure safety of the officers who participate in court transportation.
The beginning date for video court hearings is not yet known.
The council was also informed that the auditorium boiler has sprung a leak. The problem has been solved; however, a recommendation for an overhaul of the boiler was made.
If an overhaul should occur, it won't take place until summer 2002 and must be approved by the city council at a later date.
In an unrelated discussion, the council expressed the city's pleasure in the electric light parade that took place last week.
Council members felt that the parade was a success and volunteerism was at its highest level for the event.
Last week's meeting wrapped up with comments from the public acknowledging the current council for dedication to the city.
The residents indicated that Mayor Mike Dalpiaz and the council members have served the city of Helper with respect and dignity.
The officials were commended by the local residents in attendance at the council meeting for the work they have done for the city in the years past.