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Commissioners debate number of new Sheriff’s officers during budget workshop

During the Stanly County budget workshop Thursday evening, commissioners spent more than three hours poring over the budget.

Specifically, the commissioners spent time discussing a request from Sheriff Jeff Crisco.

Though he asked for four additional officers in his budget request, Crisco spoke Thursday about needing two more officers.

Since Crisco came to office, he has created a special operations group, called the Drug Interdiction Task Force, to help alleviate the county’s drug problem.

He said the district attorney’s office is receiving more felony packets with drug violations than is has in years.

“Between the drugs, guns, wanted people, they (special operations group) are truly making an impact,” Crisco said.

But in creating this new force, he took one officer from each shift. Crisco wants to start building the shifts back up and so he said he needs more officers.

Knowing that commissioners only have a finite amount of money to work with, he asked the board to consider adding two new positions.

The total cost for two new officers, plus vehicles and equipment, would total around $200,000, said County Manager Andy Lucas.

“One of my focuses in these workshops is to find the $200,000,” said Commissioner Tommy Jordan. “If he says he needs more tools to continue his job then it is our job to give him those tools.”

As the board looked into trying to find the money in the budget for the two officers, it became apparent to many that there would be no easy way to get the money without depleting other departments.

Many members came to the conclusion that there might just be enough money to add one additional officer, if any. One officer would cost around $95,000.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of can the Sheriff’s Office have less people, he can have less people” Jordan said. “It’s a matter of how many bad guys do you want to stop?”

After discussion, the commissioners adjourned without a decision, though most were leaning towards finding money for one additional officer for the sheriff’s office.

The commissioners will meet again at 5 p.m. Tuesday for more budget discussion.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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