CCSD, Watauga enjoy ‘win-win’ partnership
Published 9:40 am Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Sheriff Dexter Lunceford met with Watauga City Manager Hattie Ruth Skeans this week, to evaluate the new contract for officer coverage within the City. Deputies Amanda Little and Steve Stevenson provided input about reactions and thoughts on how the changes were being received by the community.
“I handpicked these two experienced officers and I have been pleased with how well it is going,” Lunceford said. “The two officers are able to provide two full-time positions, including day, night, and weekend coverage, doubling and spreading out the coverage times compared to the past coverage,” he said, adding this includes more overall presence for all the community of Zone 1 of Carter County, which includes the City of Watauga.
“It is a win-win for Watauga,” Skeans said. “The Commission has been pleased with the changes. We have a lot more patrolling and the officers are becoming a part of our community.”
Both Lunceford and Skeans noted that neither entity is making or losing money and yet everyone is getting double the efforts.
“Everyone is thrilled,” Skeans said.
As far as the deputies, both Little and Stevenson said they liked the small community experience. Stevenson had previously served as a small town chief of police before moving to Carter County and joining the Sheriff’s Department. While Little was not sure at first about her move to Watauga, she said she is really pleased to be part of the community.
Little said she is enjoying the small town atmosphere and often eats lunch with the Senior Citizens at City Hall. She has been calling on some of the elderly and getting to know people, their schedules, and taking time to stop and sit and talk.
Stevenson said that people were noticing the extra patrolling, and the late night coverage. He said it was obvious to him that citizens liked having more “officer presence.”
Both law enforcement as well as the citizens appear “very positive” about the additional coverage, Skeans said.
“Traffic has slowed down, there is more awareness of officers, there is a decrease in response time, and this is all about keeping peace in the community,” she said.