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Officers to receive new equipment

Johnson County Sheriff Eddie Tester talks to deputy Mark Gladden during an incident in Mountain City. Tester has received permission to use funds during the January 16, 2020 Budget Committee Meeting for an equipment update, which he is planning to use to replace computers in JCSO’s patrol vehicles. Photo by Tamas Mondovics

By Meg Dickens

Law enforcement has been in center stage recently. Between the new Security Resource Officers, the church security program, and other charitable actions like giving blood, the local officers constantly make headlines. Now the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is taking steps to improve. Sheriff Eddie Tester got approval for an equipment update during the January 16 Budget Committee Meeting. This equipment is state of the art and should considerably improve officer experience. Not only that, but the department has all of the necessary funds set back to pay for the update. The Budget Committed gave Sheriff Tester the green-light to move funds in the current budget to this specific project.

Sheriff Tester plans to replace the computers in each officer’s car, which equals 20 computers in total. The current system has been around for 11 years and is out of date. Tester explained that the system is being discontinued by the company so that new software updates would be impossible. This new system will increase officer efficiency as well as save money on gas.

“This will help the officers in the field do their job more efficiently. The officers will have more to work with, and they won’t have to run back to the office as much,” said Tester. “They can print reports, access office computers, and more.”

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department has several changes in mind for the future. Sheriff Tester promised to get back to the Tomahawk with more details on that matter soon. Keep an eye out for updates on department projects.

“We are always planning on changes. We just don’t know what they are yet,” Sheriff Tester answered when asked about the upcoming changes.

For now, Sheriff Tester is focusing on this update. Parts for the computers are already arriving, and he says they will be installed as soon as everything arrives. Sheriff Tester estimates that everything should be up and running by the end of February.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department is a county police force. Its self-given motto is “striving to help keep our citizens safe and our community a fun and safe place to live.” Find out more information about the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department by following its Facebook page, visiting, or calling 423-727-7761.