SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office is asking for a big boost in the budget, with a seven million dollar long-term plan.
Sheriff Wayne Anderson told us it's to upgrade their aging force.
We found out this year's installment of this plan would cost the county almost two million dollars.
"We're so far behind the curve it's pitiful and it's making it tough on our officers, it's causing a lot of stress on them," said Anderson.
We looked at the budget and found out he wants money to hire 13 correctional officers and 30 patrol officers. Anderson told us he also hopes to boost their presence in schools.
"A big part of that is school resource officers," he said. "It's about $455,000 start up cost because of training the officers, the equipment you have to buy, the vehicles you have to buy."
Anderson also wants to replace some of the cars that have more than 200,000 miles on them.
"That puts a danger not only to the citizens out here but to my officers and even an inmate that might be in the car," he said. "If they're bringing an inmate from wherever they arrested them and it breaks down then we have a problem."
The County Commission's Administrative Committee has reviewed this proposal and committee chairman Bryan Boyd told us they support much of the spending.
"Our committee did recommend enough money for them to have three more jailers and some more vehicles for the jail to replace older units and seven new patrol officers that could serve as school resource officers," said Boyd.
Boyd told us it's a tough budget year with the county still feeling the recession and, even over the next few years, the Sheriff may not get all of what he's requesting.
"I really don't think even over a few years that we can hit those targets but we did start chipping away at it last year," said Boyd. "The Sheriff's department did get more money that the previous year so that was a change and I do think it is a good road map."
The Sheriff's proposal has passed through the administrative committee and onto the budget committee. It will go to the full commission next.
The commission meets again on July 21.
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