By Karen Hall
CORNERSVILLE - The police department here got a $5,000 check last week from the railroad with tracks passing through Marshall County.
Two CSX railroad police agents visited Cornersville City Hall on Friday afternoon to present the check to Police Chief Todd Bone.
"We appreciate you guys helping us out," said spokeswoman Jane Covington, referring to the way Cornersville police responded to the derailment of a train carrying hundreds of Kia cars last October.
"Our contributions budget isn't that big," Covington continued. "We like to give to the communities we serve. We partner with local agencies all along our system.
"Safety is our No. 1 priority," she continued. "We like to contribute to things that enhance safety."
"It's a giant leap for us," said Police Chief Todd Bone, who said the money would be spent on police equipment.
"We're very appreciative of our partnership with CSX," Bone said.
Bone and Officer David McVey "talked shop" with Special Agent in Charge Kevin Dakin and Special Agent Mitchell Thompson of the CSX Railroad Police who had driven down from the Nashville office for the presentation.
"This is my favorite part of my job," said Covington, stating that she talks to a lot of people on the phone, and really enjoys getting out to meet them face to face.
Bone and McVey said the check from CSX would help them continue the changes that have been happening in the Cornersville Police Department in the last few months.
They have obtained two Humvees and a five-ton truck through an Army surplus program, and these vehicles are currently being equipped with lights and radios.
The department has recently bought five new Glock .357 pistols, replacing their old Glock .45s. Bone explained this is consistent with Tennessee Highway Patrol equipment.
The Governor's Highway Safety Office gave Cornersville a $5,000 grant for DUI checkpoints and seatbelt enforcement, and Bone plans to be carrying out these checkpoints throughout the summer months. They are also preparing a DUI checkpoint trailer to carry their equipment, including an intoximeter for on-the-spot breath tests.
Bob Hopkins and the Emergency Management Agency helped them get "body cams." These are cameras, no bigger than a cigarette lighter, that clip onto an officer's shirt pocket. The tiny camera can record up to two and a half hours of pictures and sound that are downloadable to a computer, thus perfectly documenting the officer's interaction with members of the public.
There are four full-time members of the Cornersville Police Department, providing 24/7 coverage for the small town at the extreme south end of the county.