published Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Bradley County reviews sheriff's office asset disposal list

Bradley County Sheriff Jim Ruth
Bradley County Sheriff Jim Ruth
Photo by Staff File Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — A request to dispose of more than 30 Bradley County Sheriff's Office assets — mainly obsolete computers, broken equipment and car parts — will be postponed until the administration of sheriff-elect Eric Watson takes office.

On Monday, the Bradley County Commission's Law Enforcement Committee discussed the matter with Interim Chief Deputy W.G. Campbell.

The list of items requested for disposal was previously included in the consent agenda of the Bradley County Commission's July 7 meeting, but was pulled after concerns by Commissioner Ed Elkins.

"I guess the reason I question this is that it showed up and we really didn't have a chance to look it over and everything prior to [the meeting]," Elkins said.

"The one that really caught my eye" was the line item for a digital recorder purchased in June 2010 in which the disposal request called for recycling the item, he said.

However, the reason given for disposal was that the item could not be found, he said.

"Obviously you can't recycle it if you can't find it," Elkins said. "That's probably one of the newer pieces of equipment on there [the disposal list]."

Campbell said the asset disposal request was made in conjunction with a mandatory inventory that has to be performed as part of the transition process of administration of the Bradley County Sheriff's Office.

"We can actually go two routes with this," said Campbell, citing a conversation with Sheriff Jim Ruth.

The department can either dispose of the items today, or it can turn over the asset disposal request along with the inventory list to the new administration and let it decide to bring it to the Bradley County Commission for disposal at a later date.

"They may want to keep some of this stuff, they may not, but that may be the best course," Campbell said.

In other business, the committee reviewed a request from the Bradley County Sheriff's Office to allow a number of retiring deputies to keep their duty handguns.

The letter, dated July 11, stated that Ruth, Campbell, Maj. Jim Hodgson, Capt. Bill Dyer and Lt. James Brown would be retiring within 50 days.

The matter was set aside after the committee confirmed that the Bradley County Commission had approved a policy three years ago that established criteria for such requests, including the honorable retirement of a deputy with at least 20 years of recognized law enforcement service.

Campbell, who has served more than 20 years with the Bradley County Sheriff's Office, said he would comment about his pending retirement at a later date.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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