Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Granting More Deputies
Sheriff Howard Smith wants more deputies.
And a federal grant may help.
You may have read this story about Stafford supervisors allowing Sheriff Charles Jett to apply for a COPS Hiring grant. A similar proposal is on the consent agenda for tomorrow night’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
The competitive grants allow agencies to hire new officers to increase community policing and to prevent crime. Spotsylvania’s Sheriff’s Office wants to use the money for six new, entry-level deputies.
For three years, the grant would pay $1,271,822 for the six positions.
But in the fourth year, the county would have to pony up $475,217 for the new officers.
Also, the Sheriff’s Office is suggesting that in the second year of the grant, after the new deputies are trained, the office will create six new detective positions. The county would have to pay the difference in cost for detectives, and a few additional expenses (overtime, operations, transportation). Those are expected to be: $140,469 in the first year; $119,776 in the second; $188,541 in the third and $255,711 in the fourth.
For the first year, the Sheriff’s Office would use the money it gets from seizing assets. In the next years, the office will request more money from the county budget.
The county has already submitted part of the application, to meet deadlines. But that application could be changed if supervisors don’t agree to the proposal.
The Sheriff’s Office didn’t add any new deputies or officers in FY2010, and lost one in this fiscal year.The upcoming budget calls for three new deputies–for the new Circuit Court building.
The average Spotsylvania deputy responds to 763 calls per quarter, and the target number of calls is 600.