Mohave County Moves $500,000 To Sheriff's Department For Salaries

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 5:30pm
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 7:05am

Mohave County Board of Supervisors on Monday narrowly voted to sweep funds to the sheriff's department after rejecting extra funding last budget meeting.

The supervisors voted 3-2 to take $500,000 from the landfill closure fund to help pay for raises in the sheriff's department.

One supervisor proposed using a legal tool to sweep those funds from other accounts to the department, as well as looking into a way to use up to $1.5 million of unused funds meant for future salaries.

This move comes after the board voted no on a budget increase for the sheriff's department — a department that says it is woefully understaffed. 

Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster said at the meeting the current attrition rate needs addressing now.

"I'm struggling on a daily basis to provide the service that people need, and I look long term," Schuster said. "Having worked here for 27 years myself, this is not a new situation."

The department has been plagued by attrition which the recently-elected sheriff says can be fixed by giving raises to the most experienced deputies.

Supervisor Jean Bishop voted against the move because she said it's a temporary solution.

"Until we can get the sheriff a reoccurring revenue source, the sweeping of these funds, I think, is financially irresponsible and the wrong thing to do," Biship said.

The Sheriff's Office has said it would like to hire 20 more deputies, and are short 37 positions at the county jail.

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