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Sheriff’s Department asks for increased budget in new fiscal year

The Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department asked the Board of Supervisors for an increased budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year during a budget workshop Monday.

The department is hoping to offer a five percent raise to all of its employees, said Sheriff David Allison.

Patrol and office personnel have not had a raise in four years, while the investigators have not had a raise in three years, said Allison. County correction officers are paid a significantly lower hourly rate than correction officers in nearby counties, said Chief Deputy Shane Tucker.

The department will also be over budget for this fiscal year, due to unexpected increases in worker’s compensation insurance policy and group insurance policies, said Allison. The department was also not fully staffed for part of the year, but is fully staffed for the upcoming fiscal year, so even without the raises, Allison expects the department to need more funding.

The department budgeted $2.8 million and is expecting to spend $2.9 million in the current fiscal year, Allison said. The department is asking for $3 million for the next fiscal year, Allison said.

The department budgeted $969,000 and is expecting to spend $985,000 on payroll for deputies for the current fiscal year and is asking for $1 million for the next fiscal year. The department is asking for $465,000 for investigators in the next fiscal year. Those cost increases would include five percent raises, Allison said.

Uniform expenses were budgeted at $9,900, but increased unexpectedly to an estimated cost of $23,628 in the current fiscal year. Allison said the increase was due to a state mandate that the department must pay investigators a clothing allowance, Allison said. The department is asking for $25,000 for the next fiscal year, Allison said.

The department is also asking for funds to purchase eight more vehicles, said Allison. Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said several vehicles are approaching 100,000 miles, while others are over 200,000 miles. Tucker said the department wants to replace some vehicles now, so that it will not need to replace twice as many at once in two to three years.

Allison said he is not asking for an increase in the jail budget. The county jail will be approximately $100,000 over budget, because of the replacement of the HVAC system, Allison said. The jail is expecting to spend $3.1 million in the current fiscal year, Allison said. Allison said he would like the Board to move $100,000 from the jail budget to the Sheriff’s Department for the next fiscal year.