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Law Enforcement / Safety Committee Meeting Minutes – October 18, 2022 (Approved)

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18 OCTOBER 2022


Chair Commissioner David Wamble opened the meeting asking Commissioner Matt Rubelsky to offer a prayer and lead the pledge.  The Minutes of 18 May 22 were moved for approval by Commissioner David Adams, seconded by Commissioner Rose Brown, and were approved unanimously.


First Agenda Item – Overview of Committee Responsibilities.  The Chair said the Committee’s responsibility is to give the Sheriff’s Department and the jail the funding to do what they need to do; not to provide all their wants but to make sure that Law Enforcement can meet their changing environment.  For example, additional staff has been added since Sheriff Helton was originally elected. There are currently 42 senior deputies, and at the start there were 22.  The additions of School Resource Officers (SROs), officers at the courthouse, animal shelter officers, and officers through a grant contribute to that increase.  Sheriff Helton said he plans on having 3 meetings a year with the commissioners and additional meetings during the budget process.  He invited the Commissioners to do a ride along, and to tour the jail (at a later time).  The Sheriff was questioned about the TACN state wide communication and why needed.  Deputy Brandon Beard said the bandwidth had been cut in half so Giles County lost a lot of coverage.  The Tennessee Advanced Communications Network (TACN) is the statewide project to form an emergency communications system for the entire State of Tennessee.  This system allows for interoperability with multiple local counties and with multiple first responders.  Giles County will use this system for the Sheriff’s Department as well as other first responders in the county.


The Chair asked Nancy Griffin of the Finance Management Office to provide information on funding streams and on the FY2022-23 budget.  The Chair further stated the budget is approved by the Commissioners, as part of Committee responsibilities.   Ms. Griffin called out the following funding streams:  arrests and litigation fees, some sex offender; allowing services such as phones to inmates; state fees for state inmates; and a grant for two law enforcement officers.  Commissioner Lathrop asked about room for expansion of the jail if needed.  Sheriff Helton mentioned a study had been done.  The 2022-2023 Budget was reviewed with comments about some reductions due to swapping medicine suppliers.  For the jail budget, the decrease in inmates from 200 to 110 has affected that requirement. Other areas mentioned were the use of the body scanners which the state has pushed; new vehicles planned and the selling of the older vehicles; and Lt. Jeff Perkins discussed the aging of the technologies, e.g., cameras (14 years old) and going to the newer technology of protocol internet system.  In a broad sense, the various protocols allow network applications to exchange data between nodes.


Since this was an information meeting only, no decisions were required at this time.  With no old/new business, Commissioner Rose Brown moved for adjournment, and with Commissioner David Adams providing the second, the meeting was adjourned.


ATTENDEES:  Commissioners who are members of this committee – Chair David Wamble, Dr. James Lathrop, David Adams for Tim Risner (absent), Brad Butler, Rose Brown, Maurice Woodard, Absent –  Matt Hopkins Other Commissioners in attendance – Joyce Woodard, Annelle Guthrie, Gayle Jones, Terry Jones, Matt Rubelsky, Judy Pruett, Joseph Sutton Other attendees – Sheriff Kyle Helton, Chief Deputy Brandon Beard, Capt. Joe Purvis, Lt. Jeff Perkins, Nancy Griffin of Financial Management, and The Citizen paper representative.