Sheriff details $1 million budget
Sheriff Robert Markley presented the first of his four "town hall" meetings last Thursday evening at the Rutledge Fire Department to a small crowd of attendants. The meetings are designed to allow Morgan County residents a chance to better understand the Sheriff’s Office and their day-to-day workings as well as discuss problems and needs for individual communities.
Markley later commented on his thoughts about the first of the meetings.
"I would like to have seen more people there," he said. "This is the public’s opportunity to see what we do with their tax money. If they see something they’d like to see changed, this is a great chance for them to speak."
Markley detailed the department’s $1 million annual operating budget for the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the nearly $675,000 needed to fund the Detention Center and its average population of 60 inmates.
The Sheriff’s Office has received a variety of new equipment over the last two years, including several new vehicles equipped with video and radar capabilities, and a video monitoring system for the Detention Center that utilizes 42 cameras the record 24 hours a day. Several new weapons purchased by the Sheriff’s Office were funded via seized drug money, according to Markley.
Several of the programs that involve the Sheriff’s Office were discussed, including a "Junior Deputy" camp held this summer at the Elementary School, and the annual Empty Stocking Fund, a program that provides families in need with presents for Christmas.
trying to formulate a way to make sure that as this county grows, we grow appropriately with it," Markley told the audience. Residents were able to ask questions about the department following the opening presentation, and discussed growing concerns that currently face the city of Rutledge.
Markley said that he is looking forward to the next meeting drawing an even larger community response.
"We just hoping that more people will turn out," he said. "We’re going to contact some people individually that have voiced concerns and let them know that there is going to be a meeting."
The next town hall meeting will take place on April 10 at 7 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge in Bostwick.