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Law Enforcement Committee Meeting Minutes – May 19, 2023 (Approved)

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19 May 2023


The Chair Commissioner David Wamble opened the meeting asking Commissioner Roger Reedy to offer a prayer and lead the pledge of allegiance.  Sheriff Kyle Helton spoke on the Thursday morning shooting where several officers survived the incident with a tactical vest saving one life and shields on another officer allowing the officers to walk away with minimal injuries.  The minutes of 3 May 2023 were then moved for approval by Commissioner Rose Brown, seconded by Commissioner Tim Risner, and were approved unanimously.


School Resource Officers (SROs) – Sheriff Helton gave an update on the state funding for SROs, mentioning that he had talked with Jeff Long, Commissioner of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.  During the discussion Commissioner Long had mentioned the dollars should be there after the 4th of July.   Sheriff Helton said the cost of one SRO is around $75K.  Sheriff Helton’s plans are to add another SRO at the Richland school which would bring that total to two for the school.  Giles High School has two SROs.  In addition, with the state funding, he will add another deputy at the courthouse, and the plans are being developed in concert with Dr. Beard’s to ensure the placement in the best possible approaches.  The Chair stated how proud he was of having SROs in all of our schools, and that the school’s board had supported the funding from the school budget of two of those existing SROs.  With the new funding, those dollars can now go back to the school budget.  That budget of $132,250 is currently in the 2023-2024 budget and upon receipt of the state funding those dollars will go back into the school’s general fund.   A question to Beth Moore-Sumners on state funding given regardless of existing SROs in schools and she answered yes, that was not a factor.  The state funding is $600K for 8 SROs and Giles County has nine, and with the $132,250 and $150K (2 new SROs x $75), that leaves $317,750 going back into the general fund.  The Chair asked about the certainty of the funding being received, and Sheriff Helton said according to the discussion with Commissioner Long somewhere near the first week in July.  A motion by Commissioner Erin Curry to approve the SRO estimated funding and move the $132,250 back into the school’s budget was made, seconded by Commissioner Tim Risner, and was approved, contingent on receipt of the funding.  Motion approved unanimously.  Commissioner Evan Baddour asked if the decision by the Fire Marshall on keeping more than one door opened had been contested.  Sheriff Helton, with regard to several reasons why more than one door remains open, said that his office is considering a camera monitoring system that would allow better surveillance on more than one door in the courthouse being unlocked.


Other Business – Financial Manager Beth Moore-Sumners offered her thanks to Sheriff Helton and his staff on providing them with off site support in working on this budget.


A motion by Commissioner Tammy Mathus and seconded by Commissioner Caleb Savage to adjourn was made and was approved unanimously.


ATTENDEES:  Members of the committee – Chair Commissioner David Wamble, Other Commissioner members – Tammy Mathus, Erin Curry for Dr. James Lathrop (absent), Caleb Savage for Mathew Hopkins (absent), Gayle Jones for Brad Butler (absent), Tim Risner and Rose Brown Other Commissioners in attendance – Judy Pruett, Terry Jones, David Adams, Shelly Goolsby, Roger Reedy, Tracy Wilburn, Annelle Guthrie, Evan Baddour,  Joseph Sutton Others – County Executive Graham Stowe, Sheriff Kyle Helton, and other law enforcement personnel, Financial Management Director Beth Moore-Sumners, Nancy Griffin, Shana Woodard, Dr. Vickie Beard, Superintendent of Schools, Knox Vanderpool, County teachers, and members of the public