Sheriff encourages “yes” vote on local amendment

From left, Ashley Tucker, vice president of the Winston County Firefighters Association, Sheriff Caleb Snoddy and Double Springs Fire Chief Brandon Lewis. Snoddy is holding the legislation that, if passed by voters, will give proceeds from sheriff’s office fundraisers to benefit local fire departments.

WINSTON COUNTY     -On March 5, voters will have the choice to approve a local amendment allowing the Winston County Sheriff’s Office to conduct fundraisers, with proceeds benefiting the office, as well as charitable organizations and volunteer fire departments.
The item will be listed on both the Republican and Democratic ballots for the March 5, primary, under the category Local Proposition, Sheriff Fundraising.
The amendment reads, “Do you favor the local law authorizing the sheriff of Winston County to conduct fundraising events, including, but not limited to, rodeos and fishing tournaments and to use the proceeds and profits from the events for any lawful purpose relating to the operation of the office of the sheriff or for distribution to charitable organizations, including volunteer fire departments?”  Voters can choose yes or no to answer the question.
Winston County Sheriff Caleb Snoddy addressed the county commission in a recent meeting about the urgency of voters casting their ballot in support of this amendment.
“It’s not a tax or anything to be taken from citizens,” Snoddy assured. “It’s a volunteer thing for people who want to participate in the tournament, to be able to raise money for the sheriff’s budget, as well as our local fire departments.
“It will benefit everybody,” Snoddy told commissioners.
“If it passes, you need to be checking on where you can have liability insurance,” responded Winston County Commission Chairman Roger Hayes, “because our liability insurance won’t cover it.”
Snoddy believes the bill will help out the sheriff’s office along with volunteer fire departments and rescue squads.
“We’re all struggling for funding,” Snoddy pointed out.
The sheriff’s office for years received proceeds from the sale of pistol permits, but legislation made concealed carry legal, which drastically reduced the amount of pistol permits sold, Snoddy explained.
“Without the need for a pistol permit, many  people have decided not to get one,” Snoddy said.
“We do have some support, and what we get,  we appreciate,” Snoddy added. “There are patrons who still purchase a pistol permit.
“Not being able to sell as many took a large toll on our budget,” Snoddy pointed out, “so this (bill) is one of (a) few ways I’m trying to supplement what we have lost.”
The overall plan is to take proceeds from, for example, a fishing tournament or rodeo, and distribute an equal portion to the affected agencies, according to Snoddy.
“If there’s greater need, say there’s a fire department that needs some turnout gear or they need some equipment to go on one of their trucks, it’s a high priority thing and nobody else has stepped up, then I would like to be able to come in and fill that need,” Snoddy emphasized.
“Even if some of our things here at the sheriff’s office had to be put off at the side, I would like to be able to  step up and conquer that in one year’s profit and maybe push some of the things we had toward the back side,” Snoddy added.
The sheriff’s office has its own needs, ranging from investigative materials such as radios, cameras, firearms, the sheriff said.
When asked about the wording of the bill not specifically mentioning rescue squads, Snoddy responded they would fall under the category of charitable organizations.
The sheriff’s office, Snoddy continued, would sponsor the fundraising event.
“Hopefully, there would be enough proceeds from there to benefit everyone adequately,” he pointed out.



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