Smyrna Town Council swore in a new police officer at Monday's meeting, concluding a search that started a few months ago.

Jessica L. Jacobs is the 23rd police officer, bringing the Smyrna Police Department to full capacity.

Police Chief Wil Bordley said Jacobs is a resident of Milford and has spent the last three years with the Harrington Police Department. She is a 2009 graduate of the Delaware State Police Academy and will graduate from Wilmington University with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in January 2013. Bordley said Jacobs received many commendations and accolades during her time with the Harrington Police Department.

"I think she's going to be a huge asset to our department," Bordley said. "I've had some lengthy discussions with her past chief and he said if she doesn't fit well with Smyrna or doesn't do well here, they will welcome her back with open arms, which says a lot about her."

Jacobs will start Monday, Oct. 22.

Tree planting standards

Smyrna Town Council unanimously approved an ordinance to amend the Subdivision Ordinance to include new tree planting requirements. Councilman Jeff Flairty wasn't at the meeting.

The ordinance was approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission and the Shade Tree Commission.

With the change, all development plans requiring town approval must include a tree planting plan. The change requires one tree pre 3,000-square feet of lot area and new trees to have a minimum caliper of two inches. The plan should include the location, spacing, caliper, and species of new trees; the Delaware Forest Service should be contacted to determine which species of trees are most appropriate.

HOA issues continue

Town Council addressed a fence adjustment request that was previously brought up by Myron Neal, who spoke on behalf of his mother-in-law Eltise Desir. Desir lives in Bombay Woods and was asking for a fence adjustment for her yard; she wanted to install a six-foot privacy fence, but there was a complaint from another resident so in accordance with town code the issue went to council. The family has been going back and forth with the development as the HOA is currently reorganizing.

Town lawyer Barrett Edwards told council that according to the deed, the resident is permitted a four-foot vinyl fence that must be approved by the architectural review committee. Therefore, council had to vote on two items: the height of the fence (four or six feet) and the privacy fence.

Council ultimately voted the measure down because if they take care of one HOA issue, they'll be asked to deal with more.

Police expansion progress

By a vote of 5-1, council approved the hiring of a construction manager for the police station expansion project. Ed Ide of i3a engineering was selected. The preliminary planning is still being done by the members of Police Building Committee who are working to cut the price of the building. With the hiring of Ide, the town will be able to move forward with any pre-construction phases of the project.

Email Jennifer Dailey at