By TONI WALTHALL News-Times Staff To make sure accidents do not fall through the cracks, Union County Sheriff Ken Jones enacted a new policy Thursday for the sheriff’s office in the form of a department-wide directive.
"It has become increasingly obvious to me that we are experiencing confusion when receiving calls from the public for service in areas between the county and City of El Dorado borderlines," the directive states.
Citing the fact that the sheriff’s office holds complete law enforcement authority within the boundaries of Union County, including municipalities, Jones has informed every sheriff’s office employee of the new procedure.
"Should this office receive a call for service from the public that requires law enforcement ... in an area that is not clearly recognized as being in the jurisdiction of the El Dorado Police Department, we shall respond for that initial assistance," he stated.
Jones said the responding deputy will determine incident jurisdiction at the scene after a preliminary assessment.
"It should only be determined by the responding deputy (at the scene) if the incident has occurred within the city limits of El Dorado, and if it would be more appropriate for the El Dorado Police Department to handle such incidents," the directive states.
"No longer do I wish to hear over the radio or otherwise, ‘that is in the city,’ " Jones stated.
"It is my directive that this office dispatch the appropriate personnel from this office to answer the call, because all areas of this county are within the jurisdiction of this office."
Jones said the directive was not issued to slight any agency, but was done in an effort to streamline service calls and foster a more speedy and effective response to the public.
"It has always been the goal of this administration to serve all the people of this county – including those who live within our municipalities – in the most professional and courteous manner. This directive only furthers my commitment to that," he stated.