During a special meeting Monday morning, Bell County Judge David Blackburn will swear in Keith Reed as a temporary Justice of the Peace for Precinct 3, Place 1.

Reed will serve in the position while Judge David Barfield is unable to serve.

Barfield contacted Blackburn and the Bell County Commissioners Court to inform them that he would be unable to serve as Justice of Peace due to a medical condition.

In accordance with Texas Government Code, Blackburn made the decision to appoint a temporary replacement until Barfield was able to return to duty.

Reed has served previously served as Chief of Police for both the City of Troy and Lorena and brings more than three and half decades of law enforcement experience with him into his new role.

“I am sorry to receive Judge Barfield’s notice that he is unable to perform the duties of his office at this time,” Blackburn said, “but I am pleased to appoint Keith Reed as a temporary Justice of the Peace for Precinct 3, Place 1. I am confident that Mr. Reed will do a great job for the residents of Precinct 3.”

During the same meeting, Judge Blackburn will also be swearing in newly elected and re-elected officials.

In this first meeting of 2021, the commissioners will return to meeting in-person in the newly renovated second-floor courtroom of the Belton Historic Courthouse.

The court’s usual meeting space has been undergoing renovation over the last seven weeks. The work focused on helping the courtroom to better function both under COVID-19 protocols and in post-pandemic conditions. The project included reorganizing the room to be more consistent with social distancing and integrating updated technology to better conduct virtual meetings and livestreams.

One item on the agenda is the approval of a resolution to authorize a $450,000 Coronavirus Emergency Supplement Fund Program Grant. Those funds would be used to offset costs associated with housing paper-ready inmates in the county jail. The court will also consider approving the Bell County Historical Commission appointments for 2021-2022.