Sanford, sheriff’s office to partner for law enforcement

Published 1:06 am Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Covington County Sheriff’s Department is partnering with the Town of Sanford to employ a full time patrol deputy in the Sanford area.

“We have been in discussion with the city council in Sanford in reference to providing a deputy on a full time basis to the city of Sanford,” Sheriff Blake Turman said. “Rather than having a local police department there, this would be called a residential deputy program. In other words, they would be willing to come and pay for the salary of a deputy to work the Sanford footprint.”

Turman said that it would be a 43-hour full time job with a $46,431 salary.

“That is basically a salary for a deputy about midrange of what the pay scale would be,” Turman said. “I spoke with the town council and they are very excited about seeing this come to fruition.”

The deputy would also perform regular deputy job duties, Turman said.

“The deputy would just serve papers and do everything that a deputy does,” Turman said. “But he would also be assigned there to be on a more personal level with the citizens. If there was some type of catastrophe where we would have to call the deputy away, we could do that, but we would make sure to make up that time in another way.”

The extra officer would also give extra boots on the ground, Turman said.

“Sanford is a huge footprint in Covington County,” Turman said. “And they are wanting a little more of an enforcement presence. I stress that the deputy out there will do his job just like any other deputy would, but this is not going to be any type of speed trap or anything like that. The deputy would just be doing his job like normal.”

Sanford Mayor Chris Thomasson said that the addition of a deputy would be a great thing for not only Sanford, but for Covington County as well.

“We would be adding another patrol officer for 43 hours a week,” Thomasson said. “For our entire county. Blake reached out to me about a year ago and we started discussing it then. Like Blake said, we aren’t trying to make any money off of this, or looking to make our own traffic speed trap. We are looking to help our citizens out and also help out the citizens of Covington County. We know that we are right in the middle of the county and a lot of things happen on Hwy., 84, so this will put a deputy on 84, for 43 hours out of the week. I think this is a no brainer in my opinion.”

Turman said that this would benefit the county by helping prevent several break-ins that have been going on.

“Especially with the scale of our break-ins in the past many months,” Turman said. “Boots on the ground is where it’s at as far as preventing that. Turning the blue lights on and just being tenacious cops.”

The proposed length of time for the contract would be 12 months, and county attorney Stephanie Cotton said that it would take about three to four weeks to write the contract.