Budget constraints and staff injuries are plaguing the Livingston County Sheriff’s office right now. Click to hear KMZU’s Mike Stone talk to Sheriff Steve Cox:
Cox says a number of factors have contributed to the situation. “We just hired a new person where somebody moved onto better employment,” said Cox,” That person will be in training for two months. One of our senior people got hurt on the job with a violent detainee and now has to have surgery to correct that injury and will be off a few weeks. That’s really going to put us short. ”
Chief Deputy Jim Lightner retired at the end of October and has not yet been replaced. Sheriff Cox says there are some obstacles making the process difficult. “The new position is permitted to be paid just under 32,000 and we have some people in-house that are interested, but, honestly, the wage is an issue and that’s nobody’s fault as the county can only afford to do so much,” said Cox,” We’re still working on this with the county commission. In fact, the commission has a meeting on the 15th of this month on the wage and benefit package for all employees of the county.”
At the current time, the department is allowed five full-time and one part-time detention officer to run a 24 hour/7 day a week operation.