County Patrol Debate

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A five-man committee to recommend a course of action regarding the future of the county patrol in Lauderdale County met Thursday.

District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Smith distributed a survey he conducted that offered options, from transferring all county patrolmen to the sheriff's department to giving current patrolmen other jobs related to those they presently have.

"Whatever data that I will have collected by Monday, I'm going to present it to the board in executive session," said Smith. "Just from a personal note, I hope we don't let this thing linger. I hope the board makes a decision one way or another come Monday. As you say it could be to do nothing. I hope that's not it either."

Sheriff Billy Sollie asked that he be allowed to speak Monday even if the meeting is in executive session.

"During the executive session that I be allowed to be there and answer any questions that all five of the board members," said Sheriff Sollie.

"Yeah, that ought to be a reasonable, well actually that should be part of the discussion," said Smith. "Somewhere along the way I think that the sheriff, you as the sheriff should be involved in that executive session to answer or respond to questions the board members may have. I think that's just the appropriate thing to do."

Some board members have expressed concern that if the county patrolmen positions are eliminated, the three men who serve now will lose their jobs.

Two others have already resigned or announced their intention to do so. Sollie said later that was never his intention.

"I welcome those three. At no time have I given any indication or any notice that anyone will be terminated if the county patrolmen position are eliminated," Sollie said. "These individuals will become deputy sheriffs and will conduct themselves as such."

The supervisors meet Monday at 9:00 a.m. to consider possible changes.