Financial management meeting turns heated over deputy pay

JACKSON, Tenn. — A normal Madison County financial management meeting turned heated Tuesday morning.

The arguments started after the Juvenile Detention Center asked to have an officer escort a juvenile in their custody to a hospital after complaints of chest pains. Because the child was in custody, EMS needed a law enforcement escort.

“There was a dispute between the Jackson Police Department and the sheriff’s department over who should do the law enforcement accompaniment,” Madison Co. Juvenile Court Services Director Amy Jones said.

Juvenile Court Judge Christy Little says the sheriffs department eventually did the escort, but sent the bill for the deputy’s overtime to juvenile court.

“We finally got him there, but only because we agreed that we would ask for more money for y’all’s overtime,” Little said.

Sheriff Mehr claims it was a miscommunication.

“There’s been a system in place for years that the city would transport the juveniles they arrest, and that we would transport ours. So we just have to work out a system. I just hate it come to this,”  Sheriff Mehr said.

Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris says this shouldn’t have been a problem to begin with.

“Now all of the sudden it’s they’ve got to pay your overtime to transport a juvenile?” Harris said. “Sheriff, the bottom line is, when did you change this procedure?”

“All we want is, when we call the sheriff’s department to pick up a prisoner or a juvenile–we want them to be picked up,” Little said.

The Sheriff’s Office also brought up a contract with a healthcare provider for the jail. The contract expired in August, and the sheriff requested the committee approve a new contract with the same company.

The committee tabled that vote.

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