Johnson County commissioners, in a called meeting on Tuesday, approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Joshua that will send Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mike Powell to Joshua as acting police chief for up to six months.
Joshua City Manager Paulette Hartman asked for help from the sheriff’s office after the Joshua Police Department lost five officers in a week. One patrol officer resigned to take a different job. Another was fired, and one, Capt. Josh Vincent and Police Chief Annabeth Robertson, all resigned in the face of a pending investigation into irregularities on time sheets.
After Tuesday’s vote by commissioners, Joshua will pay Powell’s salary and benefits of $8,863 a month for as long as he is acting chief.
Sheriff Bob Alford said Powell will continue to liaise with the sheriff’s office and will be informed on what’s happening at JCSO while working in Joshua. Alford also said that Powell would be available to assume his duties as chief deputy in the event that became necessary.
The court also voted to allow JCSO off-duty deputies to work for JPD.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Don Beeson said he was concerned by the idea of Alford sending his highest-ranking deputy to Joshua in light of the office already being short-handed. Lt. Brian Peterson also resigned Tuesday to take a job as chief deputy in Somervell County.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Jerry Stringer said he was concerned by the possibility that deputies working for JPD when they were off duty would end up working back-to-back eight-hour shifts. Alford said that possibility had been considered and that measures would be taken to avoid that possibility.
Hartman said that deputies would only be used to ride as a second officer with Joshua police officers in the event that a Joshua officer was unable to work a scheduled shift.
New Public Works director
Commissioners voted during a called meeting on Monday to hire David Disheroon as director of the county’s Public Works Department, effective Tuesday.
Disheroon replaces Erik Dumas, who resigned last month.
Disheroon was one of six people who applied for the Public Works director position. County Judge Roger Harmon said Tuesday that there was several qualified candidates for the position but it was Disheroon’s extensive working knowledge of Johnson County that gave him the edge.
Disheroon has worked in the Johnson County Public Works department for almost five years, starting out as a flood plain administrator. He became a senior inspector for the department about two years ago, he said.
“I grew up in a surveying family, so I have been around this kind of work all my life,” Disheroon said. “I love the flood plain work and working with the homeowners on those issues. I love what I do; I love this whole job.
“Johnson County is already growing. But with [Texas] 121 coming in and all the new homes and subdivisions that are going to be built, the county is going to start growing even faster. And I want to be part of that growth. That’s why I applied for this job, and why I am looking forward to it so much. I want to help our county grow.”