The Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) unanimously approved for the sheriff’s department to purchase two Chevy Tahoe’s during a special called meeting Wednesday night.
The purchases were first discussed during the BOC’s June 7 meeting when Sheriff Ezell Brown thought they would be approved, but the BOC didn’t have it on its agenda.
Before the BOC had a chance to approve the purchases Wednesday, Brown presented a document to each board member clarifying some topics of transporting inmates. The document said that the state’s Commissioner of the Department of Corrections has the sole power to order the transfer of inmates between county jails. It also said that state laws require the sheriff to carry out the commissioner’s orders and that the state reimburses the county’s sheriff’s office for expenses incurred transporting state inmates. The sheriff office endorses the reimbursement checks and sends them to the BOC where the checks are deposited into the county’s general fund.
The document distributed by Brown also stated that “Under state law the Board of Commissioners must provide the Office of Sheriff with a budget adequate to carry out its law enforcement duties, including funds adequate to carry out the duty for the transport of inmates.”
“The material before you today will not only lead you in sound judgement decisions today but I think if you take it and read it carefully, it will give you everything you need to know about the office of sheriff,” Brown told the BOC.”
The BOC unanimously approved the purchase of the Tahoes, which will be paid for out of the jail fund.
Brown requested the new vehicles to replace vehicles that transport inmates that currently have around 300,000 miles on them.
“We travel throughout the state of Georgia and we travel in all connecting states picking up dangerous inmates and traveling some 6,500-7,000 miles a month,” Brown said during the June 7 BOC meeting. “We decided to purchase these vans for the safety of the officer and the welfare of the inmates.”