SCSO gets green light to seek funds for more jail staff

J. H. Osborne • May 17, 2019 at 12:33 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — The Sullivan County Commission voted Thursday evening to allow the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office to request $1 million to pay for up to 20 new employees for the county’s long-overcrowded jail facilities.

The vote does not actually increase the sheriff’s budget or authorize the actual hiring of any new employees. It simply means the county’s Budget Committee will consider the request as it develops a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Commissioners said they believe there is a need for more employees at the jail to increase safety of jail workers and inmates, but they will not support a tax increase to pay for the requested funding. The county’s budget director indicated a tax increase is the only option for funding the request.

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