Sheriff's office seeks to add one detective

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By Damon Lawrence

The Roane County Sheriff’s Office will soon have another detective working the streets.

The department’s proposed budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year was approved by the budget committee last month. It includes funding for a new detective.   

“That’s a dire need at the sheriff’s office because I’ve got three horses that are worn plumb out,” Sheriff Jack Stockton said. “It’s unbelievable.”

Stockton said the new position will bring his detective division to four. He’s lobbied for the position for some time.  

“We got numbers that show what the workload is on crimes being committed, the burglaries and different things like that,” Chief Deputy Garvin Morris said. “We can back up the numbers why we need four.”   

The new position will pay around $39,000. Stockton will probably fill it with someone already with the department.

“The detective position is a unique position,” he said. “It takes a special person to do that job, so we kind of evaluate what we got, and if we don’t have someone we’ll probably look outside, but I would like to promote within.”  

The budget committee passed the nearly $2.9 million budget 3-1.

Committee members Bobby Collier, Randy Ellis and Jerry Goddard voted in favor of it. Ron Berry voiced the lone no vote.

He expressed some apprehension about an adjustment made to the gasoline money.

The budget committee voted to increase it from $147,000 to $200,000 for the upcoming fiscal year. Lynda Carter, one of the sheriff’s assistants, said the department has spent an average of $17,500 on gasoline the last two months.

“Hopefully, it will go back down, but if it stays at $17,500, that’s $210,000 for gasoline next year,” Carter said.    

Berry said he preferred to wait and see how the cost fluctuated in the new fiscal year.

“If you got $200,000, then you can spend $200,000,” he said.

Collier disagreed. “You don’t have to spend money that you budgeted if you don’t need it.”  

The sheriff’s proposed budget for the jail is approximately $2.5 million. The committee approved that unanimously.