Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

January 14, 2013

Jail passes surprise inspection

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — New Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner had some visitors his first full week in office — the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

It was, Tanner told the Navarro County Commissioners Court on Monday, a good visit.

Tanner reported that the county jail passed the surprise inspection and received a Certificate of Compliance from the state, with only minor recommendations for the county.

“We passed with what we considered ‘flying colors,’” Tanner told commissioners Monday.

Tanner said only small “day to day operational items” were pointed out by inspectors for correction or action that he called “minor” — mentioning specifically a need for materials in the jail’s law library, and a problem with a roof that is being addressed.

Pct. 4 Commissioner James Olsen said that the state inspectors spoke highly of the county’s jail personnel.

“He was very complimentary of our department and we’re very proud of that,” Olsen said. “He said they do a very good job of trying to stay in compliance and that they were always very good to work with. I think that’s a compliment on our personnel and we appreciate it.”

Tanner was pleased that the “surprise” inspection went well, and complimented the jail staff as well.

“That tells you that the employees that you have and supervisors are doing what they should be doing on a daily basis to make sure that we maintain compliance at all times,” Tanner said. “It shows we’re in compliance regardless, with no prior preparations.”

Tanner also requested the commissioners court to authorize his department to maintain up to 20 reserve deputy positions in the department — an increase of seven over what he carries now. He added there were presently two people in the process of joining the reserves now.

Tanner said the assistance to the department provided by the reserve deputies is invaluable, and a money saver for the county.

“It keeps us from having to pay overtime,” Tanner said, noting that the reserve deputies receive no pay for their services.

“They are volunteers. They volunteer their time, they provide the same service once they put their uniform on as any other certified officer.

All reserves are fully-licensed law enforcement officers, and go through a background check before being considered for reserve status, he said.

Commissioners approved Tanner’s request for a standard of up to 20 reserve deputies with no further court action.

COMMISSIONERS MEETING BRIEFS

Consent agenda approved

  Minutes of previous meetings, approval to pay bills, approval of Lake Planning and Zoning minutes and actions were all approved on the court’s consent agenda.



Training recognized

  County Veteran Service Officer Billy Richards was recognized for his completion of the Texas Veterans Claims Representation and Counseling Accreditation program.



Burn ban

  No action was taken on any burn ban due to adequate moisture from recent rains.



Auditor authorized as info source

  Commissioners approved a policy establishing the County Auditor as only authorized source for providing county financial, employment or other data to reporting or other agencies.



Indigent defense grant approved

  Commissioners approved the 2013 Navarro County Resolution Indigent Defense Grant program. The program provides about $25,000 to help pay indigent defense costs.



ESD members appointed

  Reappointed David Foreman and Ralph Block to another term on the ESD No. 1 board.



Historical Commission members appointed

  At the request of Bruce McManus, commissioners reappointed standing members of the Navarro County Historical Commission. McManus also presented the annual report of the commission and the projects the commission is involved in.



Bridge repair approved

  Commissioners approved a contract with Neyland Bridge to repair a bridge on SECR 4250.



Road crossings approved

  Atmos Energy was given permission to cross SECR 0020, in order to install a new gas line. The M-E-N Water Supply Corporation was given permission to cross roads to bore under SECR 2080 and SECR 2070.



State grant increased

  Commissioners learned Monday the victim’s assistance coordinator’s grant from the Office of Attorney General had increased by about $2,000 this year due to surplus funds remaining.



Items declared salvage

  Sheriff Elmer Tanner requested several items in a recent check of jail property be declared surplus. Items such as bottled water past its expiration date, broken furniture, and other items no longer usable or functional to be declared as surplus for the purpose of getting rid of the items.



Intech agreements approved

  Commissioners approved two agreements with the software firm Intech Worldwide, for the District Clerk’s office and the County Auditor’s office. The firm specializes in software that allows different county departments to better share documents and information across the computer platforms within the county.



Maintenance contact approved

  A new schedule for IBM Maintenance on the county’s AS400 system was approved by commissioners.



Insurance programs approved

  Commissioners approved the county’s renewal of its automobile and general liability insurance, as well as a provider for worker’s compensation for county employees.

 

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