County Patrol Voted Out

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The long-debated issue of the County Patrol ended on a motion by District 5 supervisor Ray Boswell.

"I'd like to make a motion the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors eliminate the position of County Patrol for districts 3, 4 and 5, effective Feb. 6, 2003. The remaining two positions for District 1 and 2 to be terminated, effective April 1, 2003," said Boswell.

Supervisors Boswell, Craig Hitt and Joe Norwood voted in favor of the change. Hank Florey and Jimmie Smith voted no.

The separate dates are because Districts 3, 4 and 5 have no one in those positions right now. District 1 and 2 have and, in effect, their patrolmen were given 60 days notice.

The budget for the County Patrol, its vehicles and other equipment was transferred to Sheriff Billy Sollie's department.

"We will certainly utilize the vehicles and the equipment and expertise these men bring to our organization," Sollie said.

District 1 supervisor Hank Florey objected to transferring the County Patrol's $203,000 budget to the sheriff's department.

"If you discontinue a department and the money is budgeted ,don't spend the money just because it's budgeted," said Florey. "Don't spend it."

Board president Craig Hitt, of District 3, disagreed.

"If there was a need last October there must still be a need and that's my way of seeing this," said Hitt. "It's not eliminating something. It's actually transferring to another department that will offer even more services."

After the meeting District 1 county patrolman Hubert Rivers and Ron Brooks from District 2 declined to comment.