Adams County supervisors review sheriff’s budget

Published 12:36 am Monday, August 28, 2017


NATCHEZ — The Adams County Sheriff’s Office working budget shows a decrease of approximately $82,000, but that is factoring in $133,000 in dispatcher’s wages moving from the sheriff’s budget to E911.

Adams County Administrator Joe Murray said Thursday at a budget workshop the significant changes to the sheriff’s office budget are the dispatchers moving to the Adams County Dispatch Center, which will be under the E911 budget, and two school resource officers being added.

Murray said the sheriff’s office would receive an approximately $82,000 reimbursement from the Natchez-Adams School Board for the two school resource officers. One officer will be stationed at Morgantown Middle School and the other at the Ombudsman Alternative School, which is located behind Robert Lewis Middle School.

The county will pick up the tab for the school resource officers during the summer, which will cost approximately $16,000, Sheriff Travis Patten has said previously.

Other increases include $15,000 to purchase computers and servers, contractual services increasing $36,500 — due to repairs to vehicles and added phone services — and an additional $15,000 in grant matches.

Patten said the sheriff’s office spent approximately $80,000 last year on repairing old vehicles. The sheriff’s office has 25 vehicles that have between 115,000 to 160,000 miles.

Food for prisoners went up approximately $3,000. Patten said the state raised inmates’ dietary intake, plus the sheriff’s office has to buy new pots, pans and other items for the kitchen.

Patten said the increase follows the jail kitchen budget decreasing from the 2015-16 fiscal year from $147,000 to approximately $135,000 in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The consumables budget is projected to go down $9,000. The decrease was primarily due to tires and tubes and helicopter expenses going down, Murray said.

After presenting the proposed budget, of which the supervisors took no action, Patten requested six new vehicles.

“We’ve got people sharing cars right now, it’s that bad on vehicles,” Patten said. “We are trying to play catch up. We need six, we really do.”

The sheriff’s office received six new Ford Explorers last year, costing approximately $31,000 to $32,000 each. But in 2016, the sheriff’s office received no new vehicles.

Before that, under Sheriff Chuck Mayfield, the board had worked out a system where four cars were being replaced per year.

Patten said he was playing catch up from missing a year of new vehicles in 2016. Patten said some of the vehicles purchased under the previous sheriff — the Expeditions — are not fit for patrol, where new vehicles are most needed.

“I drove one yesterday,” Patten said. “When you get up to 60 miles per hour on that thing, it is waving. I will not put them on patrol because I know on a curve, going 75 miles per hour on that thing, it is going to roll.”

The board did not take action on new vehicles. The board does not have to approve its budget until September.

Patten also discussed bringing the Adams County Justice Court security under the sheriff’s office helm and the sale of the 28-foot aluminum boat that was donated to the office in 2009. The boat was appraised at the time for $122,000, but only sold for approximately $20,000.

Patten is trying to use the proceeds to buy a crime scene van.

4A separate budget, the Adams County Special Operations Group worksheet showed an increase of approximately $24,000.

The largest contributors are $8,000 per year in a new line item for care and training of the office’s two dogs — Barry the Dutch shepherd and Duke the bloodhound — and a $9,000 increase so the county can get access to a database used by the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and state agencies.

SOG Commander Maj. Shane Daugherty said using the database on demonstration recently, agents were able to pull up three addresses on a perpetrator based off of one “burner” phone number.