Sheriff Falls' Monthly Update - April
Hello, all. I hope you have been enjoying our weekly updates of what is going on at the Sheriff’s Office. I feel it is important to continually provide information on what our office does. Hopefully, you are learning more about all of the unique functions and services we provide.
I know the interesting stories in law enforcement are often the chases, the big arrests, or the complex investigations. On TV, this is usually done by people who are much better looking, wear nicer clothes, and drive cars that we could never afford. For some reason, there is no TV show about the "exciting" topic of law enforcement budgeting. It is, however, extremely important.
I had the privilege of presenting our budget to the budget committee earlier this month (see below). This is the time for our good citizens to provide us with the funds to go out and do what we need to do to serve our community; and, for that I say, “Thank you.”
The Sheriff’s Office overall budget is approximately $30,434,115. Of that, $21,677,478 is our general fund. Our staffing for the 2016-2017 fiscal year is 168 employees. This is an increase of three positions from the 2015-2016 budget.
Most of our budget goes to fund personnel. 168 employees may seem like a lot of people, but I will give some perspective to these numbers. Of the 168 positions, 121 are sworn and the remaining 47 are non-sworn. The 121 sworn positions consist of command staff, supervisors, corrections deputies, criminal deputies, and detectives. Non-sworn employees include records clerks, crime analysts, administrative personnel, and other essential employees.
The important thing to remember when discussing positions is these are the number budgeted; it does not mean they are all filled, working positions. In this current budget year, we had only 99 employees working in sworn positions due to vacancies. There is a good chart on Sworn Staffing in my budget presentation that explains this further.
Our greatest hurdle is filling sworn positions. This is not a problem unique to us at JCSO – there are currently about 400 vacant law enforcement positions statewide with 500 anticipated retirements this year. We are consistently working on ways to recruit, retain, and compete with other agencies to hire qualified applicants.
I am extremely proud of our employees for the things we have accomplished and the level of service we are providing, especially given our limited staffing. Some of the accomplishments I noted in my budget presentation include the implementation of our School Safety Deputy Program, our Professional Policing Strategy to reduce crime and problems, our improved response to domestic violence, and our improved training on interacting with our underrepresented communities. We will continue to provide the best level of service possible with the resources we are provided.
Thank you for your continued support.
Sheriff Corey Falls