Sheriff expected to seek millions in new funding

J. H. Osborne • Apr 24, 2013 at 9:32 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson is expected to seek what will likely be millions of dollars in new funding for the 12-month period that begins July 1.

Anderson indicated on Wednesday that his staff will soon amend a budget request already on file with the county’s accounting office, so the figures that are available are expected to change somewhat.

The request on file seeks nearly $8.3 million in new funding for the public safety services the sheriff, by law, oversees — including such things as patrol, investigation and operation of the county jail.

If funded through property taxes, $8.3 million would require about 25 cents on the county’s property tax rate.

The bulk of the new money would go for new employees.

According to a copy of the budget request, obtained by the Times-News as a public record, Anderson might seek:

• $1.5 million “to fund deputies’ and assistants’ salaries at a rate fair and comparable to counties with comparable populations that would include longevity to attract and retain officers. This amount will include benefits for increases in sheriff, corrections, workhouse and court security employees.”

• 30 patrol officers, at a cost of $909,330. “The current number of patrol officers is not sufficient to properly carry out the duties of the sheriff which include patrolling the roads of Sullivan County, transportation of inmates and mental patients, serve warrants and keep the peace. At the current time officers are only reacting to crime rather than being proactive. The addition of 30 patrol officer would increase officer safety and the overall safety of the citizens of Sullivan County.”

• $188,000 to fund five detectives to “carry out the duties of the sheriff which are the detection of criminal activities, arrest of offenders, and investigation of all felonious activity within the county along with vice operations.”

• $82,806 for three process service officers “to bring SCSO into comparable ratios with other counties and increase service rates that would bring additional revenue to Sullivan County and will be in compliance with sheriff’s duties.”

• $248,422 for nine court officers “to increase security in each courtroom. At the present time, process officers, corrections officers and other officers are called away from their assigned duties to cover security in the courtrooms, which decreases the service of process, coverage in the jail, and other officer assigned duties.”

• $30,358 for one full-time service mechanic. “The two full-time and one part-time mechanics have a difficult time keeping the current fleet repaired and serviced as needed.”

• An estimated $110,000 to cover additional overtime for new employees and holiday pay for all shift employees.

• $627,566 to cover new employees and overtime.

• $127,960 for training, physicals, PDA service and uniform rental (mechanic) for new employees.

• $436,500 for additional fuel, weapons and uniforms for new employees.

• $50,000 for equipment for the reserve program.

• $517,000 to restore capital funding, which “is imperative to the duties of the sheriff.” Capital funds are used for repairs and new equipment.

• $1.377 million for 30 patrol cars, five detective cars and in-car and handheld radios for new employees.

• More than $1.07 million for 32 new jail employees (13 correctional officers, 14 sergeants, four cooks, one nurse).

• Nearly $422,000 to cover their benefits.

• $126,225 for uniforms and equipment for new officers at the jail.

• $463,000 in capital outlay for new equipment and/or repairs at the jail and for new jail employees.

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