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West side sheriffs story
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A new sheriff's office annex will finally be opened on the west side, a move that's been in the works for years and is sure to be welcome news to residents out that way. It's welcome news to us as well.

The Newton County Board of Commissioners approved the annex, which will be located in the Kroger shopping plaza on Salem Road. The western part of the county has long needed a closer connection to the sheriff's office since Sheriff Ezell Brown said more than 80 percent of calls for service come from that area.

The rent and utility costs will be paid for seized drug funds and will cost a total of $42,000 over the five-year life of the lease. Initially, the annex will only be open for administrative uses, such as making or obtaining accident or incident reports, but there's a chance deputies could be stationed out of the annex in the future.

The bottom line is that an annex will make residents feel safer and more connected to their local law enforcement officers, and that's good for everyone.