VOL. 133 | NO. 38 | Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sheriff’s Deputies Will Get to Keep Service Revolver Upon Retiring
By Bill Dries
Retiring Shelby County Sheriff’s Department deputies would get their service revolvers from the county instead of a watch under a resolution approved Monday, Feb. 19, by the Shelby County Commission.
Commissioners Eddie Jones and Terry Roland sponsored the resolution, which reflects a change in state law that other counties use.
“They would rather have their weapon,” Roland said.
Deputies who get to keep their gun at retirement would still be required to qualify annually, per federal law, to carry it and they must carry the certification with them.
“I think having our retired law enforcement officials on the street makes our community safer,” said commissioner Mark Billingsley, who said he initially had some concerns about giving away county assets in the form of firearms.
But the gun would be a substitute for the watch the county currently gives retiring deputies. Deputies have been allowed to buy their service revolvers at retirement.
Meanwhile, retiring chief jailer Charline McGhee told commissioners that she believes county employees should be able to donate sick leave to other employees who need it.
McGhee commented as the commission honored her for 37 years on the job.
“I just find it appalling that time like this cannot be used for employees who may truly need it,” she said citing more than 9,300 hours of accumulated leave she leaves behind as she retires. “Instead they have to make tough decisions like come to work sick or be reprimanded or even terminated.
Several commissioners said they will push for such a policy, which several have already named the McGhee Rule.
After Monday’s commission session, commissioners met with county attorneys behind closed doors to talk about legal issues surrounding the application of the county disparity study.
The study details specific disparities in the awarding of county government contracts to minority and women-owned businesses. The county’s policy is being restructured a year after it was approved by the commission.
Those changes are being watched carefully by the attorneys to see how closely they correspond to the disparity study. If they vary too much, they could make the county policy vulnerable to a legal challenge.