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Local News

March 5, 2013

Sheriff's funding request to go before excise board



“When you are operating on a relatively small staff, we have to look at officer safety,” Smith said. “We need to look at response time for calls and being able to provide an adequate response. If one deputy takes off, we typically only have one deputy working the field. If we bring in another deputy, which we feel compelled to while that deputy is at school or whatever, we are just enhancing and manifesting our comp time issues.”
McKinney said that the increasing amount of violent and domestic crimes in Stephens County are requiring extra deputies to respond and more time to investigate.
“Our call volume has increased steadily over the past four years,” McKinney said. “We are talking about violent crimes. We do not see the little mom and pop stuff we saw many, many years ago. We see violent acts committed in this county, whether it be home invasions, whether it be robberies, assaults or attacks on small children. You cannot ask a deputy to respond to these calls by themselves.”
“Our goal is to catch the bad guy, keep him from doing it again, solve the crime and we have done a good job of that,” he said. “I am very proud of my people doing that but it puts us in a position where I have guys with well over 700 hours of comp time.”
“Our biggest issue is the increase of comp time and the inability to pursue the proactive things like trying to do some things with the schools on school shootings,” Smith said. “It is hard to do things like this when we are trying to do follow-ups on our most recent crimes.”
The additional staff needed by the office puts the sheriff’s office in greater danger of liability issues and puts current deputies at greater risk of being injured.

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