Friends and neighbors of the Bradyville area met Saturday at the Bradyville Church of Christ to discuss security issues in the area, crime prevention and to review any progress in solving incidents of burglary reported over the past year or so in the Bradyville area.
In attendance were Sheriff Darrell Young, Chief Deputy Bruce Kirby, and deputies Travis Turney, Roger Young and Ready Neal. Under the direction of President D. Thomas Russell, Sheriff Young took center stage and answered questions from the members regarding progress solving past crimes in the area and he listened to concerns regarding what appears to be a camp of individuals in the area which straddles the county lines of Cannon, Coffee and Rutherford.
Sheriff Young spoke of an increased cooperation with neighboring counties and of specific interest to the Bradyville Neighborhood Watch, was an indication of more cooperation with Sheriff Robert Arnold of Rutherford County.
Sheriff Young stressed that methamphetamine manufacturing was on the rise locally and it was not only a dangerous activity that threatens the community, but that it was also a difficult activity for the sheriff department to control. The mobility and simplicity of the new method of making meth is difficult to discover by law enforcement and are usually stopped only after concerned citizens reported their suspicions to the sheriff or one of his deputies stumbled upon a meth operation in the course of their other duties.
The sheriff also spoke of the recent issue of federal funds no longer being available to clean up meth sites and expressed that one recent site clean up will have to come from his budget. He also stated that there may be federal funds available from EPA to clean up the sites. Regardless, the minimal flat fee for clean up is around $4000 and it is coming from tax payers pockets.
When questioned about solving past burglaries in the area, Sheriff Young pointed out that one member in attendance had recently recovered some of his stolen property due to a recent arrest. When asked specifically about a burglary that took place while Billy Nichols was sheriff in which a beloved pet was stolen along with all the electronics in the house, the sheriff explained that the transition when he took office had issues and one of those issues was the absence of case files from investigations.
When asked what the members of the Bradyville Neighborhood Watch could do to help his office, Sheriff Young stressed that citizens should report any suspicious activity directly to the 911 Dispatch Center, which quickens any response time. He also suggested that citizens attempt to get good descriptions and license numbers if possible but discouraged any contact with suspicious persons.
District One constable Jim Gibbs pointed out that on occasion he has observed suspicious looking activity and due to his law enforcement powers was able to act immediately to resolve any questions about the suspicious activity without burdening the sheriff’s department.
With the district constable in attendance, the sheriff was also asked about his position regarding the county commission's resolution to remove the law enforcement powers of the constables. He has stated that he is indifferent regarding the constables having law enforcement powers, but stands fast that he will not use them in his operations unless that have the same training as his deputies.
At the conclusion of the meeting a brief discussion among members was held regarding the constables and it was agreed that the Bradyville Neighborhood Watch group was in favor of retaining the law enforcement powers of their constable.
President Russell Thomas expressed gratitude to the Church of Christ at Bradyville, Minister Charles Gunter and especially his wife Linda for their hospitality toward the Bradyville neighborhood Watch as well as the ladies that brought cookies, coffee cake and coffee for the group.