ANDERSON — An agreement between the town of Anderson and the Lauderdale County Commission will have sheriff's deputies handle law enforcement in the town.
The entities decided on the move on the heels of the retirement of Police Chief Butch Collins.
Sheriff Rick Singleton said the department will add a deputy to its staff, and the town and county will split that cost.
"We'll have one deputy primarily assigned to work the town and immediate area," Singleton said. "The town will have access to all resources of the sheriff's office. If they have specific needs, they'll be contacting us. We'll have more direct communication with the Town Council, and we'll handle their special events like Founders Day."
The sheriff said Collins was the only member of the town's law enforcement, so when he wasn't working, the sheriff's office would cover the town.
"A lot of smaller communities across the state, and across the country, have been opting for contracting with a sheriff's office for law enforcement service," Singleton said. "It's not a new concept, but it's new to our area."
Anderson Mayor Jimmy Glass said the town reached out to the sheriff's office when Collins announced his retirement.
"Butch was a great policeman but from the town's perspective, when he announced his retirement we wanted to look at a way that's possible to do that," Glass said. "The goal of everyone involved is to improve public safety."
The mayor said the sheriff's office was already answering the majority of 911 calls from Anderson residents because of the limited hours the chief could work.
"It made common sense to try to (contract with the sheriff's office) since they already have a good presence there," Glass said.
The Town Council held a public hearing on the matter, Glass said.
"Sheriff Singleton was there and it was very positive," he said.