Cherokee County commissioners, at the April 27 meeting, approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Jacksonville for the creation of a Cherokee County Street Crimes Unit.
The purpose of this intelligence unit is to facilitate drug and vice investigations using the collaboration of various jurisdictions. While designed for large scale investigations or those of a complex nature, the task force would target street level drug dealers when appropriate or when requested by unit members.
“What we’d be doing is putting all of our narcotic guys under one location and allowing them to work narcotics throughout the county together as a group,” Cherokee County Sheriff Brent Dickson said.
Members assigned to the special unit will remain employees of their own law enforcement agencies. Each agency will still maintain responsibility for their officers and participation in the task force will not cost the county any additional funding, according to Dickson.
“They are actually looking into the old rec center in Jacksonville, putting some offices in that. After they remodel, they’re looking at putting it there. As of right now, it’d be hubbed out of our office,” Brent said.
All US currency seized and forfeited by law or court order will be distributed, when permissible by law, with 25% placed in the law enforcement trust fund of the prosecutor of the jurisdiction that prosecuted the case and the remaining 75% distributed among the law enforcement trust funds supporting the agencies with assigned personnel that participated in the related investigation that led to the search and seizure. Non-cash assets will be maintained for use the intelligence unit or sold at the discretion of the Cherokee County Sheriff. Proceeds of non-cash items sold, after paying any costs incurred from seizure, storage, maintenance and other fees; will be distributed in the same manner as cash assets seized.
Dickson is currently waiting on the agreement to be approved by Jacksonville and also hopes to have Rusk join the intelligence unit. It is his intention to have the task force operational this summer.
According to the agreement, any party may at any time withdraw from participation by 30-day written notice to the other parties.
Commissioners also approved an interlocal agreement with Angelina County to provide housing and care for inmates if the situation should arise in which the Cherokee County jail reaches capacity.
“If we get too many people in our jail, we get in trouble with Jail Standards, so this is a safety net where we can shift some down there and bring them back when we can,” County Judge Chris Davis said.
Dickson confirmed that over the last six months jail inmates numbered in the 180s. The jail’s maximum is 188.
Commissioners authorized assistance to the city of New Summerfield with regards to the replacement of a culvert on Union Chapel Cemetery Road as the city does not have the trucks to haul the necessary material.
Other items authorized by commissioners include:
• Two utility lines, one in Precinct 1 in the right-of-way along CR 1517 and one in Precinct 4 on CR 4216,
• The selection of Century 21 Action Team to assist with the sale of property located at 510 E. Commerce Street in Jacksonville;
• The sale of two backhoes at solid waste;
• The purchase of a backhoe for solid waste;
• Assignments of Lease for Hangers 16 and 17;
• Lease of a new Mack Day Cab truck for Precinct 4; and
• Acceptance of donated concrete material from Joe Parsley of Cherokee County Precinct 4; and
• The consent agenda.