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Carter County Sheriff revokes Constables use of department radio and national crime database

CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL) - - Constables in Carter County say they are concerned after receiving a letter from Sheriff Dexter Lunceford abruptly revoking the use of the sheriff department's radio system.

The elected officials also lost access to the national criminal database.

Constable Ken Potter has worked in law enforcement for forty years and in that time he says he's never been without a police radio in his patrol car. 

"Without the radio you can't call in, you cant run a tag, can't check wanted persons and to me its first time in my 40 year career that I've ever know radio's to be pulled from a law enforcement officer," Constable Potter said. 

The order coming from Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford who sent the 16 carter county constables this letter that says effective October 10th 2018 your agreement with the Carter County sheriff's office regarding the use of the TIES and NCIC networks are hereby revoked. 

The letter goes on to say use and access to all computer systems and radio frequencies that belong to the carter county sheriff's office are immediately revoked.

"You may be stopping one of the most heinous criminals in Tennessee you would not be able to run check to see where he is wanted or wether in fact he is wanted," Potter said. 

According to the letter sent by the sheriff, constables can reapply for privileges if they meet minimum qualifications including minimum 40 hours of training instructed by the sheriff's office at their cost. 

A background check completed and passed by the sheriff's office at their cost and a post approved psychological evaluation completed and passed at each constable's cost. 

We reached out to the sheriff in regards to this letter on Tuesday and Thursday morning. A spokesperson with sheriff's office told us Sheriff Dexter Lunceford declined to comment. 

Constable Ken Potter says constables have been instructed to call on their cell phones but he says cell service is spotty in parts of the county and cell phones are not reliable during emergency situations. he's hoping to speak with the sheriff. 

"I would like to see a set down, and a talk to see what happen, what brought this on and see if we can't liquidate the problem," Constable Potter said. 

Attorney Jim Bowman is representing the Carter County constables, he tells News Channel 11 that he has sent a letter to Sheriff Lunceford in regards to the revoking of privileges provided by the sheriff's office but has not heard word back. 


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