Sheriff Jim Ruth recently presented the committee with a resolution supporting the plan to be sent to the Tennessee Legislature to amend the Private Acts of Bradley County.
The plan would affect how a new sheriff could move personnel. Captains could only be moved one rank lower than their current rank while lieutenants and below could not be moved to a lower rank.
Commissioners Ed Elkins and Adam Lowe said the plan might create a surplus of lieutenants if captains can only be demoted to lieutenant. To keep this from happening, a sheriff would need to pick captains solely from the lieutenants.
Commissioner Jeff Yarber said the plan may limit a sheriff’s selections on appointing captains and chief deputies.
“I think you’re tying the new sheriff’s hands,” Commissioner Brian Smith said, commenting that the plan needed more work.
Ruth said the plan did give the sheriff flexibility to move personnel to a different area without changing rank or needed expertise.
Currently, there is no protection of rank other than keeping a deputy from being fired, according to Ruth.
Ruth said the plan rewards those who have worked hard to move up in the ranks.
Lowe also had a question about the legality of limiting participation in political campaigns. Lowe made a motion to table the plan until the next meeting at which the county attorney will be asked to attend to help address such issues.
During the meeting, the committee also learned seven bulletproof vests needed by the BCSO had been funded through the equipment budget. The issue had been discussed at a previous Commission meeting.