The Bibb County Sheriff's Office could soon have another agency joining their team. That's if the county's fiscal budget for 2018 is approved.
At Tuesday's Bibb County Commission meeting, Mayor Robert Reichert proposed the county budget for the 2018 Fiscal Year. Among the proposals, a change to the county's Animal Welfare and Animal Control.
"What's been proposed is to move the Animal Control aspect of Animal Welfare, that's the law enforcement side, going and picking up dogs, writing tickets, looking into the hoarders, is to move them into the Bibb County Sheriff's Office," Chris Floore said.
Chris Floore, County Spokesman, says if approved, the Animal Welfare shelter and staff would remain on Fulton Mill Road, but Animal Control deputies would work with the Sheriff out of the Bibb County Law Enforcement Complex.
"We just feel that law enforcement would be better at handling law enforcement and we can focus on adoption and making sure that these animals that are adoptable do have homes," Floore said.
Back in March, District Attorney David Cooke wrote a letter criticizing how Animal Control handles possible abuse cases.
Floore says the county, Animal Control and the Sheriff sat down with Cooke to discuss what Floore calls miscommunications.
But he says that's not the primary reason for the proposed move.
"This is just one of the options that we've been discussing for a while as something to look at for the future," Floore said.
Bibb County Sheriff David Davis acknowledges some miscommunications in the past.
"Animal Control gets very passionate about a case, but then you have people, quite frankly on the deputy side that says,'That's not our job,' you know, 'That's an Animal Control issue, there's a whole different department,' 'Why are we getting involved in that?'" Davis said. "Well, now that will be a part of our responsibilities."
But he says if these two agencies combine, they will work as a team.
"I believe we can serve the community better by having that one source and that one call for people to make animal control and animal law enforcement needs," Davis said.
Floore says over the next 6-7 weeks, the commissioners will go over the budget before they make a decision.