Claremore Daily Progress

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October 11, 2012

Sheriff’s office gets a boost

20 new vehicles, 3 new deputies in 2012-13 budget

CLAREMORE — The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office prepares to purchase 20 new vehicles and hire three new deputies, after the Rogers County Commissioners recently approved the 2012-13 budget.

Part of the discussion concerning the increase in the budget centered on the $220,000 request, and officials looked to cut other expenses to meet the “public safety” need.
During the multiple budget meetings,  Undersheriff John Sappington provided a detailed picture of the current fleet.
“We have multiple vehicles with well over 150,000 miles,” Sappington said.
The vehicles could become a liability, he added. Sappington described extensive repairs including the replacement of six transmissions.
“The repairs cost more than the vehicles are worth,” Sappington said.
There is not another option. The cars have to be repaired to keep deputies on patrol, he added.
In addition to the new vehicles the Sheriff’s Office will be hiring three deputies to help ease staffing issues.
Currently, the office patrols 674 square miles with four deputies per shift.
The application process is underway and officials have been working closely with Rogers County Human Resource Manager Jenny Bentley to insure quality candidates are hired.
During the commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday,  Sappington spoke in depth with Bentley about the hiring issues that could potential present an obstacle as some employees may look to change positions.
Bentley is working on a plan to insure staffing needs will be met during the transition. 
One issue is the need to maintain a certain number of jailers on a shift and with some of the individuals looking to fill the open deputy positions a shortage could occur, according to Sappington.
Bentley agreed to keep an ongoing opening for jail positions to insure that staffing needs can be met.
The new employees are expected to help staffing in the jail and on patrol.

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