Vehicle, other spending is wasteful

Published 12:01 am Friday, July 17, 2015

The mission statement on the Adams County Sheriff’s Office website states “an independent annual audit is conducted to prevent unnecessary spending.”

I would like to know how the “independent audit” addresses wasteful spending issues that continuously plague the sheriff’s office. Under the current administration, expenditures have increased $1.1 million over the past six years.

The number of employees increased by nine, the number of sheriff’s office vehicles increased from 40 to 48 and standards for assigning vehicles to deputies changed.

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Deputies who are not on 24/7 call are assigned SO vehicles and Fuelman gas cards. Fuel and maintenance expenses for the extra vehicles impact the budget.

A prime example of wasteful spending is the “special ops vehicle,” purchased for the sheriff’s office. One person is allowed to use this vehicle, and it is yet to be involved in assignments where off-road travel is required. I seriously doubt if the $3,200 special bumper and winch installed on this light-duty vehicle could pull anything with significant weight out of a ditch.

The special equipment and installation fees of $10,417.85 that were spent on the special ops vehicle are excessive to say the least. Considering the fact that the sheriff’s second vehicle ($43,485.85 overall cost) is only used for the sheriff’s transportation needs, it’s hard to justify the expenditure. A sheriff does not need two vehicles.

Five Tahoes (with police package and four-wheel drive) purchased for patrol to assist motorists during bad weather were diverted to investigations. If a need occurs for a four-wheel drive vehicle, patrol deputies cannot offer immediate assistance. There is no need for four-wheel drive vehicles in investigations.

Several investigators recently received $4,160 pay raises while more experienced investigators working the majority of cases received nothing, and some jail deputies and patrol deputies struggle to make ends meet on marginal wages. This type of mis-management causes moral problems as indicated by an extremely high rate of turnover (17 employees in the past 18 months).

Stop wasteful spending and restore dignity, honesty and professionalism to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office; vote Randy Freeman for sheriff for positive change.


Ed Tucker is a retired Adams County Sheriff’s Office employee.