There are so many great things happening in Perry County that it has provided me little time to write this column to provide you, the readers with some updates.
I will make every effort to return to a regular schedule. We (your Commissioners) have had the opportunity to add several improvements and additions to the Perry County Sheriff’s office, and operations.
As mentioned in a previous column we were able to save enough funds in the new employee union contract to hire a new road deputy for the County. The Sheriff has hired that individual, and he is on the job.
Another addition is the result of the tireless efforts of our JFS Director Cheryl Boley and her staff. As well as the continuous cooperation of Sheriff Barker and his staff with the Board of Commissioners. Cheryl was successful in obtaining a State funded grant to provide security to the Perry County JFS building, as well as security when needed in the Perry County Courthouse for (IV-D) Child Support cases. These funds were available through the State’s Child Support Services programs and will be used to hire a full-time security officer to be employed as a deputy to the Perry County Sheriff.
Sixty-six percent of this new full-time position is funded with the grant funds. The Board of Commissioners appropriated additional funds to the Sheriffs budget to insure the remaining 34% of the local matching fund requirement was met. Any time we can secure a new position for the benefit of Perry County residents, and have the State pick up two thirds of the expense, then I feel that is a “win/win” situation.
The third improvement that we have been able to implement with our Sheriff, is the upgrade of radio systems for 14 of the cruisers used by the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Barker came to the Commissioners earlier this year to point out some deficiencies in the radio equipment that could potentially cause an officer safety issue and presented his plan to correct that problem. After a successful test run with four cars the Commissioners approved the appropriation of funds for the next ten cruisers.
Funding is always an issue that takes a great deal of planning and budgeting work when there are additional or unplanned expenses. We are thankful to have the continued dedication of these County professionals to help us in our efforts to find the funds for these three additions to the law enforcement work of our Perry County Sheriff.