Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 23, 2013

Patrolling across borders

Two Va. counties enter into agreement to promote rapid response

By ANNE ELGIN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

TAZEWELL, Va. — A new mutual aid agreement between Tazewell and Russell counties would allow authorities to share resources.

Since many parts of Tazewell and Russell counties are intertwined, an agreement has been made between the two counties to provide emergency police aid across jurisdictional boundaries, Charlie Stacy, the Eastern District member of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, said.

The agreement will increase the ability of the local law enforcement agencies to promote the public safety and protect the general welfare of the two counties.

The agreement is in the final stages and will be effective within the next couple of weeks, Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt said.

“Russell County already has similar agreements with other bordering counties,” Hieatt said.

“For example, if a fight breaks out in Russell County and a Tazewell County deputy is closer, they will have the power to proceed responding,” Hieatt said. “Since the county lines can be very difficult to judge, such as when the border line runs through a house where the front porch is in Tazewell and the other half of the house is in Russell.”

Since the deputies have already been sworn in to their respective departments, they will not have to be sworn in again in the bordering county, he said.

“We have a very good work relationship with the Russell County Sheriff’s Office and I believe this will help us work even better together. It’s a wonderful agreement,” Hieatt said.

— Contact Anne Elgin at aelgin@bdtonline.com