County Commission Reconsidering Sheriff's Department Cuts

There is an outcry from Choctaw County, Ala., about the elimination of jobs in the sheriff's department.

Last week, county commissioners voted to cut all part-time positions to save money. But it turns out that the out-of-work employees could be back on the job.

"I just kind of feel that our office is being picked on," said Sheriff James Lovette said at Tuesday's county commission meeting.

Commissioners say that's not true.

"Before we cut any departments, we cut ourselves. Since 2007, we've been taking cuts with the county commissioners each year," said Commissioner C.D. "Bud" Ruffin.

"We've turned down one request that the sheriff's department has made within the last three years," said Commissioner Henry Lovette.

According to commissioners, the elimination of the part-time positions was due to budgetary restraints. Although now dealing with a tight budget, in response to the sheriff's request, commissioners agreed to take it into consideration.

"I'm not exactly sure whether we'll take it up in a work session or whether we'll take it up in another meeting," said Probate Judge D'Wayne May, chairman of the Choctaw County Commission.

As for addressing the sheriff's concerns about a $20,000 overtime budget for this year, commissioners say it's the same amount that the department has had in the past. In order to increase the monthly allotment for that he says the sheriff must first get approval from the commission.

"The monies are there. It's up to you all to control it," said Commissioner Tony Cherry. "Once we see our way through and see the light, we're going to make adjustments to make things easy for every department."

The board's next meeting is Oct. 13 at 9 a.m.

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  • by John Location: Butler on Oct 6, 2009 at 08:49 PM
    As for the high speed chase, that person is a habitual offender, who was out on bond at the time. If our law enforcement would quit negotiating with him, he wouldn't have been on the streets at the time. As for the overtime cuts, they didn't cut out all overtime. They simply put a cap on it. They cut two part-time positions. One was a process server and the other had a full-time position elsewhere, and worked the hours which he set for himself. If our deputies would quit setting up "roadblocks" and calling it overtime, or coming back out after their regular shifts are over in order to make extra money, the Commission's actions would not have been necessary. If you play with the rules, you must suffer the consequences. And what was that "you're picking on us" comment?! Are we in the sandbox? I agree with the previous post, we must change ALL of the elected positions in the courthouse during the next two elections. We cannot continue with our current leaders. We are getting nowhere fast.
  • by lillie Location: butler on Oct 6, 2009 at 06:08 PM
    HUmm let's see ... Seems like I remember them denying money to pay for the Sheriff or someone in the dept. to attend a conference.iWAS THAT MORE THAN THREE YEARS AGO) . Seems to me like paying someone REGULAR TIME part time beats paying someone OVERTIME.. and arent they already in ligitation over that matter.. or was it resolved and then there is the problem of the lawyer fees to fight the court cases on non payment of overtime.. and a part time commissioners salary is over 38,000.00 plus insurance.. WONDER what a deputy makes and He is putting his life on the line when he takes the job..I still say if you keep putting the same folks in office and let them do the same ole thing you get the same ole results ... time to clean house.. ELECTION... GET OFF YOUR DUFFS AND GO VOTE ... CLEAN HOUSE AND GET SOMETHING DONE..Folks better wake up, smell some coffee and ask these commissioners questions.. just wonderin what will come up next in the backwoods..
  • by jennifer Location: choctaw co on Oct 6, 2009 at 04:52 PM
    It is ridiculous to cut our deputies. Of all places to cut back. The comission needs to wake up and realize that these deuputies are here for our protection. I support our deputies 100%. So what if they exceed their alotted money, they protect me. Do what it takes.
  • by terri Location: silas on Oct 6, 2009 at 04:32 PM
    the county commissioners need to be cut out, they are the ones not doing thier jobs , so let them go, take thier money and let us get out protection they we so need. we don"t have good roads, the worst bunch of so called commissioners we have ever had... we need the law more than we do these so called commissioners... that is putting it nicely.. we need protection more than we need these commissioners sitting behind a desk telling our law enforcement how to spend the money that is to go to them anyway.. we could do with a lot less CHIEFS and a lot more indians.. and people that will do there jobs are the one that they are going after.. get real people and think , get your heads out of the sand, the commissioners of choctaw co. has gone to the dogs!!!! they all say the county is broke , well cut back on their pay , give that to the law enforcement officers that protect us when we sleep , not the commissioners that ARE ASLEEP ALL THE TIME,and we still have bad roads! think people!!!!
  • by Rachael Location: Choctaw Co on Oct 6, 2009 at 04:18 PM
    Being a resident of Choctaw Co and a small Community, I think we need all the help we can get. I can go less than a mile and get drugs. Last weekend, at 4 am, a chase of 100 mph went right thru my community. The pickup was stolen, the driver hit a deputy car, but thanks to the deputy, town cops and sheriff, It ended OK. Without the overtime, would this man be caught.
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