Garden City votes to enter township deputy contract with CCSO

Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry addresses the Garden City Town Council’s concerns in the work session before the council’s Monday night meeting. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

GARDEN CITY, Ala. – The Garden City Town Council on Monday night voted to enter into a township deputy contract with the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). The council had, in previous months, debated over having the deputy or establishing a police department, but in the end chose the former

In the work session prior to Monday night’s meeting, Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry was present to answer questions for the council.

Questions the council had for Gentry:

  1. If the deputy is pulled off for another call, will his or her hours be made up for the Town?

Gentry said: “In a township deputy contract, the deputy is assigned 86 hours every two weeks, but if the deputy is called to be of assistance to another deputy that is responding to a situation, any loss hours will not be made up.”

  1. Will the deputy be designated to handle the Town’s paperwork as far as ordinances or any other form that needs to be delivered to a resident?

Said Gentry: “Deputies typically cover Title 32 and 13 which are the criminal laws and traffic laws in the state of Alabama. What we typically will do is we will assist the town or the city’s attorney; we’ve had several instances where Good Hope has filed civil process. And once the attorney did that, then they would come to the deputy and the deputy would serve the civil process for the town. But it wouldn’t be going out and writing an ordinance.”

  1. What are we going to get out of it and what are we not going to get?

Gentry: “Municipalities under a township deputy contract can establish what they want to do with their deputy. Deputies will enforce Title 32 and 13 always, however.”

  1. What will be the deputy’s routine as far as speeders or anyone not following the law?

Gentry said, “Every town is different.”

  1. Will the deputy be spending the majority of the time in Garden City?

Gentry: “Unforeseen for us,” in other words, it just depends on what happens.

Councilman Michael Black said, “We just need more of a police presence down here.”

The rest of the council agreed with Black, voting to enter into a one-year township deputy contract with the CCSO.

In other business, the council adopted two resolutions and an ordinance.

The first resolution was Resolution 2019-401- Vendors Exempt from Vending License Oct. 12, which exempts vendors from having to purchase a vendor spot or license for the fundraiser the Town of Garden City will be holding for the volunteer fire department Oct. 12.

The second resolution, Resolution 2019-402- Rebuild Alabama Transportation Plan, which is related to the 10-cent fuel tax increase signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey earlier this year. The resolution states the Town will use the funds for streets, as funding allows. Garden City will receive an estimated $10,411.

Ordinance 2019-213 Establishing the Use of Electronic Vote Counting, which allows electronic vote counting devices in the municipality for all elections.

The council also voted to allow the fire department to purchase two K-1 thermal imaging cameras, as requested by Chief James Johnson.

Lastly, the council went into executive session with Cullman County Board of Education Representative Kenny Brockman. The council revealed after the session that the CCBOE has offered the Garden City School building and property to the Town.

Mayor Tim Eskew said, “The land and everything.”

The council voted to accept the offer.

The Garden City Town Council meets on the third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at Garden City Town Hall.

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