Committee recommends funding for county constables
Published 5:27 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2022
BY ROBERT SORRELL
The Carter County Health and Welfare Committee on Tuesday recommended the county provide $48,000 for county constables using American Rescue Plan funds.
In June, the committee had prioritized 13 American Rescue Plan projects to send to the Financial Management Committee. The projects included $48,000 for constables.
Money for the constables failed to make it to the full commission and didn’t make the cut for county funding.
Committee members, including Daniel McInturff, said constables do a lot for the county, providing relief for county deputies and city police officers, traffic control and process serving at the courthouse. Members suggested that constables could help local schools with security, especially after the sheriff’s office recently said it would not provide school resource officers at every campus in the county.
In a statement about staff shortages and a lack of school resource officers, Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said, “You need to know the sheriff cannot place constables, retired military or retired law enforcement in schools as SROs, it is against state law. SROs must be full-time, P.O.S.T. certified, paid law enforcement officers.”
Commissioner Isaiah Grindstaff made a motion to recommend funding for constables through the American Rescue Plan. Grindstaff’s motion, which could be used to provide uniforms for the constables, was seconded by Commissioner Randall Jenkins.
The committee unanimously approved the motion.
Constables are elected officers in Carter County and generally serve voluntarily. They are required to complete 40 hours of in-service training each year.
Of the 13 projects the committee previously supported in June, funding for the Shepherd’s Inn women’s shelter also failed to be approved for the budget, according to Chairman Robert Acuff.
Acuff noted that Health and Welfare Committee has also been asked to review the county’s contract with the Carter County Rescue Squad. Acuff told committee members that he has not yet been provided the contract for review, but it will likely be available at future meetings.