5 of 16 at Sharkey sheriff’s office fired due to funding shortage

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 9, 2001

[02/09/01] A lack of money has led to the termination of five of 16 Sharkey County Sheriff’s Department employees.

“We have never really been given what we need to operate,” Chief Deputy Cardell Hughes said. “The math just doesn’t add up.”

The Sheriff’s Department has a budget of $18,000 for four jailers and $24,000 for four dispatchers.

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Hughes said one deputy, a cook and three dispatchers were fired and another deputy was transferred to a dispatch position. There will now be four deputies serving the county of 6,543 people instead of six.

“This is not going to change any of the services that we provide,” he said. “We are going to make it work with what we have.”

Hughes said because jailers will now take on dispatching duties, the equipment must be moved upstairs where they are. That means the downstairs door will be closed by 6 p.m. instead of being accessible to the public all night.

“These changes are going to make it harder for the people who are working here, but it won’t change our ability to protect the public,” Hughes said.

If someone needs to get inside the Sheriff’s Department after 6 p.m., they can call and they will be let in, Hughes said.

“The truth is if someone has an emergency they are going to call us directly not walk to the office,” he said.