Edmonson Voice Staff
On Monday, the Edmonson County Fiscal Court voted to withdraw from the Barren/Edmonson/Allen Drug Task Force from a motion made by magistrate Ed Rich, seconded by magistrate Willie Lindsey. This vote had been discussed at the last few meetings. Judge Reed had recommended that more research should be done before voting on the matter, however, Sheriff Wil Cannon felt for quite some time that this was the best move for the county. Sheriff Cannon and Lt. Shane Doyle both spoke on why this would benefit the county, not harm it. "We want to stress that this will actually help us fight drugs in the county even more," Doyle said. He explained how the Task Force was set up and discussed how it was no longer the best option for the county. He said that as the county costs continued to increase, the results were becoming less and less economical. "We (the county) have to pay $45,000 to $60,000 to the Drug Task Force for one officer that is based here but also has to serve two other counties. We feel like we could take that same amount of money and hire a qualified detective for our department, instead. With a county detective, we can focus strictly on the drug situation right here," he said.
Judge Reed, however, felt that a withdraw should be put off for another year. His reason was that 2015 would bring in a new judge executive, a new sheriff, a county court clerk, and a new county attorney. He said that the Task Force also had a new director and that he'd like for the county to give the director a chance to make improvements. However, some of the magistrates and the sheriff's department felt that even with a new director, the best option for the county was to move forward with a change now.
The motion was approved by all magistrates which gives the Task Force a 90-day notice of the withdraw. The county will also continue to plan for replacing the Task Force officer with a full time county detective.