Linden to use night watchman to patrol city - WSMV News 4

Linden to use night watchman to patrol city

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LINDEN, TN (WSMV) -

The city of Linden spends $75,000 yearly on deputies to patrol the city. That's almost one-fifth of Linden's operating budget. Mayor Jim Azbill told Channel 4 News the city wasn't getting its money's worth.

"They weren't enforcing the law. No tickets were being written. There was concern about loud noises, music in the parking lots, none of that was getting taken care of," said Azbill.

With such a big financial burden, Linden alderman voted unanimously in March to end the financial contract with the Perry County Sheriff's Department beginning in July. However, the city didn't inform the sheriff of the move. Azbill shrugged it off with a laugh.

"They knew it before the night was over," said Azbill.

But it was no laughing matter to Chief Deputy Nick Weems.

"They never contacted me to let us know they had a problem. That's a cowardly way of conducting business. That's crazy that they would take it upon themselves to do that out of the blue," said Weems.

The Board of Alderman and mayor have a plan in place to cover some major law enforcement gaps.

"We will provide a night watchman from 9 to 5 every night. He'll be checking door knobs to see if everyone is locked up," said Azbill.

The night watchman will have no arresting powers, so he will have to call on the sheriff's department if he spots a crime.

"He will have a radio. If he sees anything suspicious, he'll make a call to 911," said Azbill.

Without the $75,000 from Linden, the sheriff's department will have to cut two important positions to make up for the loss.

"If the $75,000 is taken from us, we would have to cut the school resource officer. Another cut would be the drug interdiction officer. Most of the drug crimes are within Linden's city limit," said Weems.

The city plans to use part of the $75,000 savings to fund a night watchman.  

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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