New Melrose police chief hopes to continue work of mentor

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer

With the Melrose police chief leaving his post at the end of the month, only one man remains in the community’s police department: Patrolman Mike Trammell. The four-year veteran of the department will take over from his mentor, Clarence Pyle, at the first of the year.

“Just like any other community, we have our share of narcotics activity,” Trammell said. But he also hopes to continue other projects started by Pyle, including ridding the community of abandoned vehicles and other unpleasant sites as Melrose prepares for its centennial celebration in August.

Trammell will enter the job on a probationary status, council members said. But Melrose village council member Lance
Pyle, the outgoing chief’s son, said he may make a motion to increase Trammell’s pay immediately, saying the village’s police officer should be compensated for the extra duties he will be undertaking.

“It’s hard to find an officer that will stay in Melrose, and he is willing to stay here,” Pyle said.

Pyle said council members will also explore ways to hire a second officer.

Trammell has worked under Clarence Pyle since 2000.

Also, Melrose made a significant investment in Trammell when they sent him to the police academy to get certified, Lance Pyle said.

“(Trammell) definitely needs a pay raise,” said Cleo McFall, another village council member. “I’m for giving him a pay raise because he has done a real good job and has taken on additional responsibilities.”

Lance Pyle said Trammell is making $1,910 per month. To ensure he will stay in the Melrose community and be rewarded for his hard work, Pyle would like to increase Trammell’s pay by an unspecified amount.

“I would like to get with the other councilors and work on
something,” Pyle said.

Also in Thursday’s meeting, council members asked Clarence Pyle to continue working on his cleanup initiatives until the village holds its centennial celebration. Pyle tentatively agreed to work if the terms of his further employment could be worked out, council members said.

If he can reach an agreement with the village, he would be working for an hourly wage, separate from the police department, council members said.