Fiscal court splits vote on prisoner-transport purchase
by Alan Reed -- areed@cadizrecord.com
Mar 29, 2006 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The need for a vehicle transporting prisoners to Hopkinsville’s jail loomed over the Trigg County Fiscal Court during their meeting March 21, with the Trigg Jail due to close at the end of March. It took a vote by County Judge Executive Berlin Moore to break a split vote on the decision. Earlier in the month magistrates voted to close the Trigg County Jail on March 31 and have prisoners transported to either Christian County or Calloway County.

To update the county magistrates on the search for a transport vehicle, Moore introduced Jailer Glenn Cunningham. “Glenn has been out looking for a van for our needs, and has done some research.”

Discussing his findings, Cunningham mentioned that “3 or 4” used vans had been located locally, but said that research with the Office of State Contracts had yielded the most promising results. “We can get a new van, under the terms of a State Contract, equipped like we need. It’s a Ford E-350 Van, and it will have a screen between the passenger area and the driver. It will be manufactured the fourth week in April, and delivered to us the second week in May.”

Cunningham elaborated that he had spoken to the Christian County Jailer about an interim arrangement. For court appearances, his Christian County counterpart had offered to run the weekly route, to the Trigg Courthouse, and back to the Hopkinsville facility. “He won’t charge us for this, so we can get going (with our own transportation program),” he explained to magistrates.

For a small number of inmates, Cunningham said his Ford Crown Victoria, and local law enforcement vehicles were still available.

The price of this van, set by a Commonwealth Contract with Countryside Motors of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky was $20,578. Lawrenceburg is in Anderson County, near Frankfort and Lexington.

The need for a new vehicle was never debated. Magistrate Kevin Stroud commented “We’re better off with a new van down the road.”

Moore added “If we knew we could get a used van in good shape, it would be one thing, but we just don’t know.”

The jailer described accommodations within the van, without segregated cages for male and females. To provide security, however, the Christian County wardens would bind inmates with handcuffs and leg irons, as well as binding those chains to a third about the waist. Cunningham demonstrated the posture and range of motion a prisoner would have. “As long as we have them like that, we can manage ok.”

The E-350 Econoline van could transport a maximum of 15 inmates. Seating accommodations were not described specifically.

Making a motion to purchase the Ford Van in Lawrenceburg was County Magistrate Donnie Tyler.

Countering the motion was Magistrate Kelly P’Poole. “You don’t know if you can get one cheaper if you don’t shop around.”

For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.
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