Complete plan would help countyPublished 12:00am Sunday, July 21, 2013
When Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless gets three police cruisers given to his office, yet doesn’t even have the money in the budget to get them on the road, there is clearly a problem with funding law enforcement in the county.
This is just the most recent issue with funding the sheriff’s office and isn’t likely to be the last one either. Add this to the problems of aging equipment, significant deficiencies at the jail, limited manpower and the lack of resources to fully create a comprehensive 911 system.
Now is the time for county officials to sit down and draw up a complete plan for funding the sheriff’s office and other emergency services. Some efforts are in the works and we urge county leaders to be as detailed as possible when creating a road map to success.
The reality is it will likely cost citizens — most likely property owners — because there are few revenue-generating options beyond property tax levies. Citizens need to ask themselves what they are willing to pay for and what type of quality of life they hope to have for their children, grandchildren and all future generations.
The county must also continue to find ways to operate more efficiently, curb costs and ensure that salaries and benefits are reflective of the current economy.
Finding a solution for adequately funding the sheriff’s office, 911 and other emergency services certainly won’t be easy, but it couldn’t be more important.