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Municipal court backlogged as citation numbers increase
Stockdale has a city marshal and deputy city marshal, but law enforcement in the Stockdale area remains primarily with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, and that is where residents should call when they need such assistance.
This was one of the points made during lengthy discussions during the May 6 Stockdale City Council meeting.
City Marshal Jim Stewart said his deputy, David Rice, often gets calls on his personal numbers from citizens in need. Since the two are only scheduled to work one day each per week, people should call the dispatchers at the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, and appropriate help can be given.
The two officers, whose pay comes from the general fund, have been extremely productive since the marshal’s role was reinstated by the city in July 2011.
Stewart presented his report for April to the council. Among services by him and Deputy Marshal David Rice were 86 warrants served, 34 citations issued, and four arrests.
The increased activity has led to requests for equipment -- such as a mounted camera for the marshal’s vehicle and tasers to aid in difficult arrests -- when funding is available. Video from the camera -- estimated to cost $1,400 -- would aid in court proceedings.
City Manager Banks Akin reminded council members they had made traffic enforcement in school zones a priority during their February meeting, advising Stewart and Rice of this at the time. Safety issues in the school zones -- from speeding to not stopping for buses as children are entering or exiting the bus -- were highlighted.
The city, since the marshal’s role was re-established, has purchased a radar unit to aid in traffic enforcement, using proceeds from fines assessed by the municipal court.
Councilman Sherry D. Lambeck said the marshal’s department is doing a great job. She added that the city needs to provide the tools so the officers can protect themselves.
Making Stockdale a safer place to live is a “higher priority than paving the streets,” Lambeck said.
Mayor Ray Wolff said, “We are not going to provide 24-7 ... or 8 to 5.” He added that the matter of full coverage should be addressed with the sheriff. Wolff asked that the city define Stewart’s and Rice’s duties, and then meet with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.
Through the efforts of the city marshals, contacts have increased every month and the municipal court is now backlogged.
In the past, the judge held court once every six months, Akin said. Now, court is held monthly. The number of cases has increased from one to 20.
A workshop to discuss the city budget, as well as the city marshal’s duties, is set for Monday, May 19, at 6:30 p.m.
The council also reinstated Edwin Baker as Stockdale fire chief. (See article above.)
Stockdale City Marshal Jim Stewart gave the following April report during the May 6 Stockdale City Council meeting:
•Warrants served, 86
•Citations issued, 34
•Arrests made, 4.
During traffic stops:
•Marijuana arrest, 1
•Public intoxication, 1.
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