The Williams County Sheriff’s Office asked for more help at the county commissioners meeting on Monday.
Williams County Sheriff Steve Towns appeared before the commissioners to request funding to hire three new deputies.
If the commissioners approve them, the new deputies would each earn $18.07 per hour.
According to Towns, the Sheriff’s Office is understaffed, now down to 14 deputies from a peak of 22 back in 2009.
The reduction in staff comes at the same time that calls for help have increased, by as much as 25 percent this year over last year. The sheriff attributes the increase mainly to the increase in drug cases, and specifically methamphetamine and heroin cases locally.
Commissioners responded by saying that although they back the sheriff’s office, county revenues are down significantly, and any money shifted to the sheriff’s office would have to come at the expense of another county department.
Commissioners said they will review the sheriff’s hiring request as part of their ongoing process of reviewing of all 2015 department budget requests by the end of the year.