New court specifically to serve veterans could open in Murfreesboro later this year

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MURFREESBORO, Tennessee — Officials in Murfreesboro plan to meet this week to iron out details of a court being developed specifically to serve veterans.

The Daily News Journal ( reports the court could open this fall.

Commissioners in Rutherford County voiced their approval in February for the launch of the initiative, which will initially serve veterans who end up in the court system for drug or driving under the influence offenses.

"The concept is absolutely incredible," said local veterans' advocate Matthew O'Dell. "As long as everything is executed properly, it gives veterans an opportunity to get their life back on track and tell veterans 'we believe in you."

It is among the latest communities to begin developing a court to cater to veterans. The communities of Shelby, Montgomery and Davidson counties received a grant late last year to develop a similar system.

Trey King, who directs the county's drug court program, and General Sessions Court Judge Ben Hall MacFarlin will oversee the veteran's treatment court with assistance from veterans, who will act as counselors.

"Now it's a matter of getting everything organized," King said. "We're looking to sort out what cases judges will hear. We're also planning on having formal training in September."

Information from: The Daily News Journal,

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