Sheriff asking for more deputies

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Assistant Editor

Coverage by the Putnam County Sheriff's Department isn't what the new sheriff would like it to be, so he is asking the county to allow the hiring of two more deputies.

Sheriff Steve Fenwick told the Putnam County Board of Commissioners Monday night that the new road deputies would each be paid salaries of $30,000 a year. The additional cost would be partially offset by several cuts that have been made in the sheriff's department budget since Fenwick took over.

As an example of the cuts, Chief Deputy Doug Nally said the department was paying a monthly phone bill of about $2,000. This month, they cut it down to about $800, he said.

While the three commissioners voted in favor of hiring the new deputies, they showed concern about the extra cost.

"My concern is adding cost when we don't know what budgets are going to do," Jim Baird said. "I'd hate to come back at mid-year I'm just worried about the taxes and all."

Fenwick said he would try to cut as many costs from the budget and offset the deputies' salaries as possible.

"They're going to cost us money," he urged. "It's just for the coverage we need. There are a lot of problems in this world and it's here too."

Fenwick said the department currently has 14 full-time officers on staff, but this includes Fenwick himself and two investigators who spend most of their time investigating crime scenes. There are only two deputies on duty at night, he said.

"This is for the whole county," Kristina Warren said.

The County Council will have to approve the new deputies also. They meet at 7 p.m. tonight and for their annual budget hearings next Monday and Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the sheriff is also looking to eliminate unused vehicles from the department's fleet. On Monday, the commissioners approved selling four vehicles for $1 apiece: one to the city of Greencastle, one to DePauw and two to the Centerpoint Police Department.

View 16 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • Well i think they should of auctioned the cars off and if you are complaining about how many deputies there are maybe they should spread out across the county instead, 2 or 3 all sit in Cloverdale at the same place for hours!!!!Tax dollars at work!

    -- Posted by Buck_Hunter_2008 on Tue, Oct 21, 2008, at 11:09 AM
  • WHY? So he can fire them????

    -- Posted by clgruener on Tue, Oct 21, 2008, at 11:51 AM
  • clgruener: You took my line! hehehe

    -- Posted by ExHoosier on Tue, Oct 21, 2008, at 1:29 PM
  • Yes they do sit along Burma Rd. There might be bad things that travel up and down that Rd. But there is bad things that travel up and down every Rd.! Cloverdale Police can patrol Burma Rd. it is not out of there juristiction!

    And i have to agree with "clgruener" that is very true!


    -- Posted by Buck_Hunter_2008 on Tue, Oct 21, 2008, at 6:19 PM
  • Here is another suggestion,Banner, how about follow-ups to your headline stories? Hows that chase going of the doper that walked away after the Law sent in a wired citizen ,got the goods on him and then the police then decided to get warrants in place,giving the doper time to take his drugs to still them put out on the street and flee?( Whew was that a looong sentence...)There are several stories left danglin,how bout some follow up? Oh and is it just me or is a buck cash enough for those vehicles when needing money for extra officers as well as 12k a month in fuel? Just wonderin...

    -- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Wed, Oct 22, 2008, at 5:55 AM
  • Is there really enough crime in Putnam Co. to support this hiring? If there's so many Reserve Deputies to chose from, already patroling and so forth for free, why the extra expense? We probably could even recruit even more (cost free Deputies) if we needed to for the "high crime areas). Seems like overkill to me. Oh well, We already have a GPD SWAT TEAM for Greencastle. I just wonder though, how many State Troopers do we have patroling the county through the night as well?

    -- Posted by RRgson on Wed, Oct 22, 2008, at 9:54 AM
  • Putnam County is one of the last places on earth where taxes come before safety. Get your heads out of your _____, and realize yes there is crime in putnam county, yes there is a need for it, and 30k a year is worth it if it saves 1 life ever. Go ahead and criticize every person involved in safety and then whine when something happens to your son or daughter (who apparently are worth somewhere less than $29,999.... if we're making a deal). Get over it, make a difference in your community. Start a we complain club, where every night you pick a different person or thing in Putnam county to complain about. I am sure you'll feel better

    -- Posted by fireman on Wed, Oct 22, 2008, at 1:52 PM
  • When I worked there the fingerprints were taken before the inmate was even put in their dorm or we'd get the third degree and those were never pretty so it always got done. I believe this department has been going down hill since before I left and I hope that Fenwick gets it back under control, although from the firing of the admin ladies, that wasnt his first priority. Politics are always lingering in his mind, arent they? Do the right thing Fenwick, put the county where it needs to be. 2 deputies working at night, thats when the most crime happens, give me a break! Thats not sufficient at all.

    -- Posted by cmg071580 on Wed, Oct 22, 2008, at 2:50 PM
  • I like "Fireman". Well stated, you want to run for public office, I'll vote for you. Keep doing a good job Steve.

    -- Posted by idiot on Wed, Oct 22, 2008, at 5:16 PM
  • Hey bondsman, if you need "grind" that axe(which it seems you do) get over it. Let me guess, couldn't get hired full time, we all have issues. Let the man clean up the mess and be supportive.

    -- Posted by idiot on Wed, Oct 22, 2008, at 5:18 PM
  • He is trying to get more deputies on staff so he can hire his family/friends.

    -- Posted by flygal026 on Thu, Oct 23, 2008, at 5:57 AM

    -- Posted by Michele1953 on Thu, Oct 23, 2008, at 10:00 AM
  • I know they did a great job with the officers they had on staff when Helmer was sheriff. I have no doubts that this county has gone downhill. Not sure how you know me Greencastle's finest but hopefully its a good experience. I valued my time in Putnam County and was sad to leave but fortunately for me, it was the right decision. I realize young officers speed when not necessary, that was happening when I was there and probably won't change, age definetly is a factor. Steve probably does want to hire more of his family/friends, I worked closely with him at times and thats what he talks about the most. Getting the good old boys back in there, well the good old boys are idiots. Hopefully they hire outside the circle.

    -- Posted by cmg071580 on Thu, Oct 23, 2008, at 11:02 AM
  • Why not bring back some of the reserve deputies that were recently let go. Some of these dismissals were politically or personally motivated.

    Here is a group of fine deputies where training is already paid and they're known to the community.

    -- Posted by VonMises on Thu, Oct 23, 2008, at 11:25 AM
  • What??? Where did all of you guys go? Finally an intelligent comment and no one responds? You all must be sitting there scratching something. Go bondsman.

    -- Posted by flyaway on Fri, Oct 24, 2008, at 6:26 PM
  • I totally agree bondsman!!!!

    I beleave that SUV is a brown color not blue but yes why do they need such equipped vehicles!!!

    EVERYTHING in the putnam county system whether it's the courts or law enforcement is a COMPLETE JOKE and beleave it or not it is getting WORSE!!!!!!!!

    -- Posted by Buck_Hunter_2008 on Fri, Oct 24, 2008, at 11:48 PM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: