Sheriff’s Department in need of new vehicles, more deputies

Published 3:14 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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During the February 14 Marengo County Commission meeting, Sheriff Robert Alston reported that the Sheriff’s Department needs new vehicles, more correctional officers for the jail, and more deputies.

Alston said he plans to sell three surplus Chevy Silverados titled to the Sheriff’s Department and one F-150 that needs approval from the county as it is titled to the county. Alston also said that at least two Tahoes, that are 2018 and 2019 models, have “been through a couple transmissions already” and have high mileage on them. He said he would like to replace them with trucks.

Alston said another law enforcement department is interested in purchasing some of the vehicles, but if they decide not to buy them, Commissioner Fred Armstead, Jr. suggested that he list the vehicles on

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Alston said he is also looking into a possible lease/purchase option where multiple vehicles can be obtained with an annual lease payment that would be around the same amount of what a new vehicle would cost.

Alston’s next topic was hiring new deputies to decrease response time. He said that they currently have two people per shift, but it is not enough and the response takes too long.

“If we had more people on the roads we could definitely decrease our response time. Right now we’re running eight deputies, but we need at least four more,” said Alston. “We need at least three per shift to cover more of the county.”

Armstead asked if he had considered COPS-grants, which is a competitive grant program designed to provide funding directly to law enforcement agencies to hire and/or rehire additional career law enforcement officers in an effort to increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts.

Alston said he has been looking into grants for a couple of weeks now and has not been able to “get any traction going” just yet.

Armstead said that the COPS is probably the best way to go for funding new deputy positions. The COPS program will pay for the first three years, but then the County and Sheriff’s departments have to keep the employees on for two years.

New Corrections Officers are also needed for the County Jail. He said the jail currently has two officers per shift and they need three. Commissioner Jason Windham said that the County is going to “have to make the salary more attractive” to hire and keep qualified people in the position.

Other items discussed/approved by the Commission:

  • Approved the Grand Jury Report
  • Approved the Adoption of Rules of Procedures
  • Approved Liquor License Fees
  • Approved the 2023 Annual Tax Levy
  • Approved the ARPA Fund Resolution – Back Scanning

The Marengo County Commission meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m.