Lake County Sheriff's Office wants $3m budget increase

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The Lake County Sheriff wants an extra $3 million for his department’s budget to go toward new patrol cars and to increase the salaries for his staff.

Lt. John herrell with the Sheriff’s Office says 59 patrol cars with more than 100,000 miles need to be replaced.

“You can’t baby a patrol car. There’s no way. Our line of work will not allow for that,” Lt. Herrell said.

He also said another major issue is starting pay for his staff.

“There are five police departments in our county with higher starting salaries than ours,” he said.

After years of cutting his department’s budget, Sheriff Gary Borders wants a $3 million dollar increase.

“Sheriff Borders has cut his budget three years in a row, and that’s not sustainable,” said County Commission Chairman Jimmy Conner.

Conner said it has to be addressed, but the overall county budget may already come up $7 million short next fiscal year.

The commission has discussed a special tax, but so far there have been no commitments on what it would cost residents.

Some residents said they can swallow a bump in taxes if it's for the deputies.

“They put their lives on the line every day,” said Lake County resident Frank Mathe.

A Lake County deputy's starting pay is $35,485.

That’s the same as a five-year deputy, because there haven't been any raises in five years.