- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

UNICOI, Tenn. (AP) - Unicoi officials have voted to hire the town’s first police officer.

The Johnson City Press reports (https://bit.ly/1Jeu9Po ) Unicoi’s Board of Mayor and Alderman voted Monday to begin the process of hiring the town’s first public safety officer.

The vote followed a discussion of the town’s $100,000 contract with the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department to provide two officers for daytime patrol within the town.

Mayor Johnny Lynch says Sheriff Mike Hensley told him that he might not be able to completely fulfill the contract due to a looming shortage of people.

Hensley said Friday that about a third of the county’s patrol and investigative officers have told him they will leave the department because of the county commission’s decision to not provide any funding match for family insurance coverage for county employees.

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