Sheriff to grant constables radio access in emergency situations; office to pay for psychological evaluations

Published 8:55 am Thursday, November 8, 2018

In a letter authored by Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford to county constables dated Oct. 26, the sheriff’s office, for the time being, will allow constables access to radio frequencies during “actual emergency situations.”

“In the interim should you find yourself in an actual EMERGENCY situation you are authorized to use any radio frequency that belongs to the Carter County Sheriffs Office,” the letter reads.

The October letter comes after Lunceford sent out a letter in September informing Carter County constables that their access to computer systems and radio frequencies owned by the Sheriffs Office would be revoked on Oct. 11. The letter went on to say that to regain access constables had to meet the following three criteria:

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—A minimum of 40 hours of training instructed by the Sheriff’s Department at the department’s cost.

—A background check completed and passed by the Sheriff’s Department at the department’s cost.

—A POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training)-approved psychological evaluation completed and passed at the constable’s cost.

In the Oct. 26 letter, Lunceford says that the Sheriffs Office will now pay for the psychological evaluations.

“I have also contacted Dr. Stanley, who does our psychologicals, he has agreed to do them and we will be covering the cost for you. This will eliminate any financial hardship you may have,” Lunceford said.

Carter County Constable Ken Potter maintains that he does not agree with the sheriffs requirements and that the constables have already met all standards set by the State of Tennessee.

“We are not compelled to do any of this,” said Potter. “We are in state compliance with everything. If the state was to audit our organization tomorrow, I would not have any problem with it.”