Lawrence County Council Approve Funds For Courthouse Plaza Repairs

(LAWRENCE CO.) – The Lawrence County Council approved funds from the Cumulative Capital Fund to be used for repairs for the Courthouse Plaza roof and walls.

Rodney Fish, Lawrence County Commissioner asked the Lawrence County Council for $109,702 for the project.

In other business the council:

  • Approved Circuit Court Judge Nathan Nikirk’s request to move an employee from the role of receptionist to a court reporter position. The receptionist position will be eliminated. The county will save $3,200 a year.
  • Approved Superior Court II Judge Robert Cline’s request to hire a receptionist.

Lawrence County Prosecutor Sam Arp provided council members an update on a Hoosier Uplands grant of $30,000 he received. The grant money will be used to help expunge driving records so they can obtain a driver’s license and return to the workforce.

The office is working on tracking data on this program, if the program is successful Arp would like to see the county fund this program in the future.

The prosecutor’s office has teamed up with Indiana State Police and Federal authorities to capture child predators. Arp started the Internet Crimes Against Children program because individuals were using vigilante sting operations in an attempt to capture child predators. Arp stressed these individuals were armed and could pose a threat to the general public. So he formed a group to stop these actions. Arp stresses the county cannot partner with vigilante groups.

There is no additional cost to the county to have this program. In August, the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office will be sponsoring a training program for more than 300 officers at the Mitchell Opera House.

Another focus of the Lawrence Prosecutor’s Office is domestic violence. Arp hired a Victim’s Advocate Krystal Shetler and Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Kempf and has partnered with Centerstone in providing resources both to the victims and defendants.

Sheriff Department Announcements and Requests

  • Sheriff Mike Branham announced Gregg Taylor was named Chief Deputy. He is replacing Aaron Shoults who is retiring after 23 years of service.
  • Sheriff Branham also announced the retirement of Captain Troy Loboski. He has served the department for more than 12 years.
  • The council also approved the hiring of an officer and a correctional officer.
  • Denied Sheriff Branham’s request to hire a former dispatcher with 10-year experience at the pay scale for that level of experience. The new policy of the Lawrence County Human Resource handbook states that any employee who leaves will return at starting pay. This policy was drafted in February 2021 and cannot be changed.

Jail report:

  • 152 – Inmates
  • 125 – Males
  • 27 – Females
  • 0 – Level 6 felons
  • 9 – DOC Inmates 4 are expected to be leaving today
  • 1- Parole hold

Sheriff Branham states this is a high number and he has concerns about what the jail population will look like during the summer months.