County officials listened during Monday’s Trigg County Fiscal Court meeting as one local resident shared his concerns about an overburdened Trigg County Sheriff’s Office that he said isn’t able to respond to residents’ needs in a timely manner.
Jim Strelec talked to magistrates about recent instances when he sought the help of the sheriff’s office and was frustrated to find that no help came until almost three hours after his requests for assistance.
In one instance, he noted that local sheriff’s officials never came, and a call was ultimately made to Kentucky State Police in Mayfield.
“This is not a slam on the sheriff’s department,” Strelec told the magistrates on Monday, noting that “it’s a slam on this county for not providing enough help for the sheriff’s department.”
Strelec noted that, with Trigg County Sheriff Aaron Acree out making an arrest, Major Mike Sandbrink out working as well and the deputies working four 10-hour shifts, “it’s not easy to schedule all their stuff.
“They’re doing the best they can,” he said. “We don’t have enough people (at that office). They need at least two more. They need help.”
Trigg County Magistrate Barry Littlejohn said he hopes officials can work on the issue and get more help for the sheriff’s department, and he said he believes the issue is one that definitely needs to be looked into very thoroughly.
Trigg County Magistrate Mike Wright noted that the number of sheriff’s deputies has increased since he’s been a member of the fiscal court, growing from two deputies initially to the seven serving today.
He added that the county provides the sheriff’s office with body cameras, technology in their vehicles and updates to the dispatch center. The department has a million-dollar budget, he said.
“We have really tried to provide them with everything they need,” Wright noted.
Sandbrink, who serves as second in command to Acree, was at Monday’s fiscal court meeting and said it was difficult with eight employees to have coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
On Monday, he said he had been the only law enforcement officer in the county since 8 a.m. that morning. Two people were on vacation, and four deputies were “covering the other hours,” Sandbrink said.
The major noted that he and Acree were “plugging the holes” in trying to serve the county’s law enforcement needs.
“There’s a lot more to this than you guys see,” he said.
The court also heard from Trigg County resident Gus Puth, who came to thank the magistrates and Trigg County Judge-Executive Hollis Alexander for responding quickly to his concerns about a dead-end intersection near his home on Canton Lake Shore Drive.
He said he worried that vehicles going straight through the intersection could go down a steep embankment and into the lake.
Puth contacted Trigg County Magistrate Larry Lawrence, and he said it wasn’t long before the judge-executive as well as Littlejohn came out to look at the road.
It said it took only about 10 days for a guard rail to be put up.
“They really took care of it,” Puth said of the steel guard rail that was placed at the site. “They did a good job. I’m satisfied with it.”
Alexander was ill earlier this week and not at Monday’s fiscal court meeting. Lawrence presided at the meeting in his absence.
In other business:
•Trigg County Treasurer Lucy Kyler announced that the county is hosting its tire roundup, disposing of tires brought in by residents free of charge, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 6 and 7 and from 8 a.m. to noon on May 8 at the Trigg County Road Department. She said the Kentucky Department of Waste Management is paying for the disposal.
•Magistrates approved the minutes from the March 15 fiscal court meeting as well as expenditures and transfers for the county.
•The list of expenditures as of Monday included a fourth quarter contribution of $1,500 to Trigg County Attorney Randy Braboy, $2,041.20 to Harp Enterprises Inc., for the election services contract, $9,779.91 to Rogers Group Inc., for road materials and a fourth quarter contribution of $5,500 to the South Western Kentucky EDC.
•Kyler said the county is receiving $16,135 from the Kentucky Division of Forestry, and she noted that those funds will be split between the Trigg County Road Department and Trigg County Public Schools.
•Trigg County Magistrate Alana Dunn noted that there are some extra funds available from the state to be used on Highway 1585.
•The next court meeting will take place at 6 p.m. April 19 at the Trigg County Courthouse.
Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.