Baxter Battle Brewing Over Growing Pains - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Baxter Battle Brewing Over Growing Pains

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by Todd Walker

BAXTER, Tenn - The small town of Baxter, Tenn. has had a five-person police department for several years, but the police chief feels it's time for that department to grow.


That request is a tall order for a town already on a tight budget.

"I'm usually in here between 5 a.m. until just whenever," said Chief Danny Holmes. "It might be nine or 10 at night. It all depends on what is going on that day."

The chief has racked up more than 3,000 hours of comp time covering for his officers when they're out or sick.

That came as a surprise to the part-time mayor of Baxter, Jeff Wilhite, who isn't convinced the town needs an extra officer.

"We've got to live within our means," he said. "And any new officer would require more taxation. I just don't feel like we're ready to do that right now."

Wilhite says the city needs to decide whether it wants 24-hour local police coverage, or to let the Putnam County Sheriff's Department cover the city when the local officers can't.

The issue will go before the city council on Oct. 3.

The mayor says before deciding on a new officer, the council will have to decide some sort of comp time policy for city employees. Baxter currently does not have one.

email: twalker@newschannel5.com

 

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