County commissioners consider budget funding for law enforcement

Local

Mclennan county commissioners are working this week to narrow down their 2019 budget but they’re running into roadblocks.

One issue would be hiring more law enforcement to try and meet state standards. Which commissioners say could end up blowing up their budget.

Commissioners say adding personnel to the county is not only pricey but challenging. Especially when it comes to filling the staffing gaps in law enforcement.

“We have to really understand what the request is all about and we have really good elected head officials that provide good information but we need to understand that and so that’s the biggest effort in it is try to get to that point,” Judge Scott Felton said. 

This year commissioners are working with more than 105 million dollars to tie up any loose ends with the county’s law enforcement staff.

Felton says requests for personnel within the county has added up to over $3 million. He says many of those requests have had to be denied.

Citing one of the challenges is hiring deputies due to state mandates, which makes the budget increase by around half a million dollars. 

Felton says due to a bigger sheriff’s department, they have to send some of that personnel to other local agencies.

“An example is McLennan county jail and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards requires the inmate ratio to be a certain number which causes us to hire more jailers which I call state mandates that we don’t control,” Felton said. “We have to provide those additional jailers so it costs us more money.”

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