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WJBD - Local News - Marion County Sheriff Requests To Replace Drug Task Force Deputy With Second Investigator Position

Marion County Sheriff Requests To Replace Drug Task Force Deputy With Second Investigator Position

By Bruce Kropp

The Marion County Finance Committee will recommend to the full county board that the sheriff's department be allowed to add a second detective. Sheriff Jerry DeVore is proposing to remove the deputy assigned to the Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force to fill the new spot. 

DeVore told the committee Friday afternoon there were too many cases for one detective to handle. "The jail population has gone from 70 to 100 and our case load has gone up drastically. We really can't get to the items in a timely manner like we could if we had two investigators. Jefferson County currently has three investigators, Effingham County has three investigators, Clinton County has three, so we're running behind the other counties. Our crime rate is right in there with their's, if not above their's," DeVore said. 

DeVore says quick action on cases helps recover stolen property before it can be sold or disposed of. He reported current detective Anthony Decker and the proposed new deputy would put a priority on working drug cases. It was estimated the current drug task force deputy spent about half his time working outside the county.

Decker noted one recent day he worked 24 hours straight on a burglary ring and a rape case that came in at the same time. State's Attorney Matt Wilzbach backed up the need for a second detective in a letter to the county board.

If the change is made, an additional $30,000 has to be added to the budget to cover the amount of the stipend the county is receiving for having a deputy in the drug task force. 

 

Several committee members said even with the extra cost they felt the benefits were worth it. Board Chair Terry Johnston noted the county's crime rate was going up and they needed to do anything they could to stop crime. He added the move could end up saving money for residents of the county.

The full county board will consider the change when meeting Monday to approve the tentative budget. The finance committee put its final touches on the budget at Friday's meeting. Revenue is expected to total six-million 883-thousand dollars. Expenses total seven-million 193-thousand dollars. That number includes $200,000 for contingencies.

 

The committee expects to start the new fiscal year December first with one-million 735-thousand dollars in the bank. That's almost $100,000 more than where the county started the current fiscal year.

The full board will also be asked to give final approval to a four-year contract with the laborer's union at the meeting.

It will begin at seven Monday night in the board room at the courthouse.

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