THOMASVILLE — Two of the offices that were created in the new Thomasville Police headquarters when the agency’s station opened in 2020 are now offering services to the public inside the office building at 250 W. Main St.
Family Services of Davidson County and the Davidson County Magistrate’s Office currently have satellite offices at TPD, where residents of Thomasville are afforded the opportunity to visit a more accessible location rather than having to go to Lexington.
“We’re trying to make it convenient for the citizens,” TPD Chief Mark Kattner said. “For a lot of people, they don’t have transportation. There is a bus service, but you have to schedule ahead of time and it takes like over an hour to go back and forth. It’s easier to come over here, plus it’s a secure building; you’re at ease.
“It comes in handy for us, too. It saves us a lot of time from running back and forth, instead of running all the way to Lexington for search warrants.”
On May 1, the Magistrate’s Office opened inside the city’s 40,000-square-foot facility, where Jason Cheek or Carol Smith can be found presiding over matters pertaining to a series of criminal and civil duties. Their presence means for a group of individuals who previously found themselves at the Davidson County Courthouse without a means of transportation, the trek is now much shorter.
“For the people of Thomasville who may not have a ride to Lexington, we encountered that many times,” Smith said. “Or if you were released by the point you got over there, when you were under arrest, the officer can’t drive you back.”
A magistrate is a judicial officer who, in criminal cases, issues warrants and sets bail. Additionally, magistrates can conduct marriages and involuntary commitments. Child custody and protective orders do not fall under the jurisdiction of a magistrate.
Magistrates may accept a guilty plea and payments of fines and costs for traffic violations and minor misdemeanors. In civil cases, the magistrate presides over small claims court. Those who have served in Thomasville say the location allows the community another avenue during daylight hours to access an array of services.
“There’s a larger population here than there is in Lexington,” Cheek said. “And when you look at it from a standpoint of access to justice, there’s good reason to have someone here.”
The Magistrate’s Office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The TIMES will feature a profile on the opportunities provided by Family Services of Davidson County from its satellite office at the police station in an upcoming edition next week.
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at email@example.com.