General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck said the county should hire five judicial commissioners to serve "24/7."
At a meeting of the County Corrections Committee, he said such a system is working well in Knoxville.
Judge Shattuck said that was the original proposal here seven years ago, but it was not enacted because of budgetary concerns. He said it was also recommended by consultants who studied the local judicial system.
The county has three fulltime judicial commissioners and some parttime judicial commissioners.
County Mayor Claude Ramsey said finances remain a key factor in whether to add more judicial commissioners, who sign warrants and set bonds. Currently, they work nights and weekends here.
Mr. Ramsey said going to round-the-clock judicial commissioners "would cost a substantial amount of money."
He said problems with the current judicial commissioner setup need to be worked out before that issue is decided.
Officials said the judicial commissioners here are not subject to supervision from either other judges or the County Commission. Chief Judicial Commissioner Bob Meeks said some of those serving in the post here have ignored his directives and he is powerless to enforce them.
The terms of the judicial commissioners expire in October, and the County Commission is planning some changes in the program.
Those may include shorter terms than the current four years, Commissioner Greg Beck said.
Officials said the judidical commissioners need more space than the tiny courtroom at the county jail and they also need access to NCIC records.
Officials are discussing the possibility of video conferencing so that prisoners would not have to be brought in from the workhouse at Silverdale.
Shawn Johnson, courts coordinator, said a system to connect the three Criminal Courts with the workhouse would cost $163,000. He said it would eliminate having to transport many prisoners for brief court appearances and would be a security improvement.