Transport deputies who move prisoners outside the detention center now are able to perform patrol duties after becoming state certified law enforcement officers. Robert Rickman has the story...
VERBATIM: Previously, deputies in the Transport and Civil Warrants Divisions were not certified law enforcement officers and could not perform law enforcement duties, the sheriff said.
“It was a goal of mine upon taking office to get these officers state certified,” Sheriff Arnold said.
After obtaining certification, all 11 Transport and six Civil Warrants deputies can perform the same duties as a patrol deputy such as enforcing the law, making arrests and answering calls. All Civil Warrants deputies became certified last March while the Transport deputies became certified recently.
“This gives them pride and gives us extra help when needed,” Sheriff Arnold said.
Lt. Joey King , who supervises the Transport Division, said the primary responsibilities are taking inmates to court, doctor’s appointments outside the detention center and between different agencies. They are responsible for some of the most dangerous criminals while in public.
“Having certified officers provide added security to both the streets they travel daily as well as in the Judicial Building ,” Lt. King said. “This also makes them more versatile in their duties. For example, on a day that judges aren’t holding court, these officers can function completely in other roles such as patrolling, serving warrants and performing detention duties.”
The Transport Division averages moving 12,000 inmates annually.
In 2012, the Transport Division:
* Took 8,998 inmates to court.
* Moved 1,184 inmates out of the county for court orders or warrants service.
* Drove 649 inmates to medical appointments.
* Served 521 criminal warrants.
Photo: Certified Transport Division deputies are, from left, Deputies Michael Heller and Teresa Reed, Lt. Joey King , Deputy Joseph McCool, Sgt. Donald Moorehead, Deputies Jason Roberts, Robert Dowell and Gregg Speck, Cpl. Scott Dozier and Deputies Bill Melton and Lorenzo Osborne.
Rutherford County Sheriff's Office
Public Information Officer Lisa Marchesoni