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Cole Co. Sheriff Asks for Money

The Cole County Sheriff says he needs more money due to a growing inmate problem. Today, Sheriff Greg White asked Cole County commissioners for more money to hire new officers for the jail.The Sheriff and other jail supervisors talked about the need for more jailers to handle the inmates in the new Cole County Jail. The Sheriff also says he needs to promote some of his employees from their current positions.While the Cole County population has grown only slightly according to the Census Bureau, the inmate population has jumped. When the facility first opened, the jail averaged about 90 inmates. Now, that population has grown to nearly 150 and the Sheriff’s Department is asking for more officers, including three jailers and a jail clerk.”Volumes of paperwork go through the jail,” said Sheriff Greg White. “We need to be as efficient with it as possible and that allows us to increase the efficiency level.” The new jail has been open for about a year, but Sheriff White says the auditor’s budget does not include the growing pains. That’s what has prompted his request for more money from the county commissioners.”There’s always a bump in cost when you start that process and they seemed very receptive this year,” said White.The presiding commissioner told ABC 17 News that the budget is limited, but at least $8 million is set aside for the Sheriff’s Department next year. The Sheriff also wants extra money to promote five deputies to corporals.”What that does is provide supervision on the road all the time and that is advantageous to us and to the public,” said White.The presiding commissioner says it is too early to decide what requests they can work on, but he says they can probably work in smaller items such as promotions, which won’t cost nearly as much as hiring new officers.The county commissioners will meet over the next month to discuss the budget and come up with a proposal, but the final budget will not be approved until mid-January.

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