Sheriff’s budget calls for a marginal increase
BY BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Henry County Sheriff Rich McNamee is asking for just a 1 percent increase in the part of his budget that he controls for fiscal 2018.
“It is just a $29,000 increase,” McNamee told county supervisors Thursday during the board’s regular meeting.
The $29,000 increase is for my department’s share of the new gasoline pumps installed at the county engineer’s building and for a new camera server at my office,” he said. The camera server, he said, is 12 years old and was damaged last summer when lightning struck the office.
He said the department would be replacing two vehicles the next fiscal year and sending two deputies to the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.
McNamee told the board he is considering adding a canine to the force. “I’m kind of in the middle on that. I have a prospective deputy who has canine experience.”
A five-year-old police dog (German shepherd), he remarked, could be acquired “for virtually nothing. I could purchase it through our forfeiture account.”
The sheriff also made a point of telling the board that he has never exceeded his budget since taking office.
Sarah Berndt, county coordinator of disability services/general assistance director, gave her monthly report to the board.
Most of her report was on her recent visit to a crisis intervention-training center in San Antonio, Texas. Berndt, who also serves as director of the multi-county jail transition link program, brought a few of her employees with her and Washington County Sheriff Jared Schneider also attended.
Berndt spent one-and-one-half days looking over the program and came away impressed. She said that in San Antonio, the jail can house 4,653 inmates.
She said the San Antonio concept wouldn’t work in rural Iowa though. “It’s a big concept to digest and try to re-create to a rural setting. San Antonio is the premier model nationwide, but we would like to model ours after Missouri because their model is more geared to a rural area.”
One of the presenters in San Antonio said he would be happy to come to Iowa for a presentation and training on crisis intervention.
Regarding her general assistance duties, Berndt said she helped a couple of people with rent or utilities in the past month.
Supervisors meet again in regular session Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 9 a.m., in the courthouse.