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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

County Sheriff's Department seeks additional deputy

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Less money in the county budget doesn't necessarily mean a smaller caseload for the Putnam County Sheriff's Department, and Sheriff Steve Fenwick is hoping to alleviate the strain.

The Sheriff's Department is requesting that an additional deputy position be reinstated to assist the department's two detectives.

Fenwick appeared before the county commissioners and county council earlier this week to appeal for the position. He said the new position would primarily investigate sex crimes and abuse cases, freeing up the detectives for other cases.

"They just can't function with what we have right now, so we need that person back," Fenwick said.

The proposed position would not be brand new. Early in 2011, the council and commissioners approved the transfer of money for a jail officer position to the merit deputy position.

However, before the position was filled, it fell victim to budget cuts. The money was not used in the 2011 budget, and was not included in the 2012 budget process.

"I'm very sympathetic to being supportive to the sheriff's department, but I would rather have tackled the issue during the budget process," Councilman Phil Gick said.

Fenwick reminded him of the history of the position.

"We did ask for the position and it was granted, but we were asked to cut, and we cut the position," the sheriff said. "We have no place else to cut, except personnel.

"We're definitely not trying to cover anything up."

As witnesses of the need for the position, Department of Child Services Director Shelly Chadd and Elizabeth Butts with Family Support Services testified at Tuesday's council meeting. Both women reported the increases in cases their departments have seen and of the tight schedule the state requires in responding to such incidents.

Fenwick said the department has a candidate in mind for the position in Kyle Gibbons. The current jail officer is also in charge of the department's sex offender registry.

The question for the council is of where to find the money. Asked if he foresaw any additional requests for personnel in 2012, Fenwick said "absolutely not."

The council tabled the issue until the February meeting while they consider the possible expenditure.

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This is money we we really CANNOT afford to to NOT spend! The detectives we have now need to be concentrating on the thefts and breakins going on in our community.Let us not forget the breakin-assault that happened on the south side of town! However,with the retirement of detective Mike Biggs,whoever tries to step into his shoes,will have a large challenge to fill them!We really could not replace him with two additional detectives. Good Luck guys! I say ,,alot the funds,,and arrest the bumbs!

-- Posted by Ya THUNK on Sat, Jan 21, 2012, at 10:15 AM

Dear Council,

This is a cleverly disguised ploy for an additional Deputy. Please don't fall for it. How about utilizing our current Deputies to their full potential.

With Respect

-- Posted by Reader2 on Sun, Jan 22, 2012, at 11:16 AM

How about all of the folks that are double dipping pick up the slack? Check out last Thursday's (I think it was Thursday) Banner. On the second to last page it listed all county employees. You have to dig around, they don't have the jobs listed together. One of our dear commissioners make three incomes from us tax payers. There are several officers that collect for different "duties".

-- Posted by longtimecitizen on Mon, Jan 23, 2012, at 8:40 AM

I think we need more deputies but we also need to have the current ones out in the country more often. I know there are more crimes in the city, but there is Greencastle City, DePauw Campus, Fillmore marshall, and several Troopers that live/work in the area. Put the COUNTY officers in the COUNTY. Either way, I appreciate all that they do even through this difficult economic times.

-- Posted by RandyDKuhlman on Mon, Jan 23, 2012, at 8:13 PM

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