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Whats missing from the numbers
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Dear Editor;

I was recently advised of an article that was published in a newspaper which included some false information and/or inaccurate information that was apparently released by the County. I feel the need to apologize for this type of inaccurate information being given out. I’m told the article quoted someone saying my budget was over-budget every year. However, I have documentation from county staff showing just the opposite. You know if I overdraw my personal bank account the bank is quick to let me know there’s an overdraft. But according to this article I’m over budget all the time and no one has contacted me about it. Which is true, the paperwork given to me by the county or the information given to a news group?

 In a prior meeting I agreed with one commissioner that one of our take home cars traveled two counties over (which in updated policy is not allowed, but the deputy in question was hired before the policy change) and cost an estimated $7,000 annually but now in the article it’s up to $11,500. They claim we have over 100 vehicles but now that number is down to 80. Are we making up numbers as we go so we can confuse the big picture?

As of this date, the only commissioner who has even offered to discuss the budget is Commissioner Jones, who came to see me. Commissioners Brantley and Kieffer called asking questions but were unable to meet due to scheduling or illness situations.

Why is the sheriff’s office being singled out? Is it to cover some inaccurate information.

Are they tampering with our budget during the year without us knowing? Things that make you say “hmm.”

Can we really blame the commissioners? They can only go by what they are told or given. Unless they come find out “the rest of the story.” One, for instance, is that they can produce any budget to the sheriff’s office they wish us to have, but the Georgia Supreme Court says otherwise. Again, this is more inaccurate information. This is why we will continually work toward resolution to avoid litigation.

This article says that crime is down. Where did this come from? I hope this is true but no one has asked us. I hope they are correct. That’s great. However, our calls for service are up by over 3,000 already, and we don’t just respond to crime only. Last Sunday night, we got hit by bad storms and 12,000 people lost electricity. Six of the seven additional deputies who came out lived outside our county. Did they grumble or gripe? No, they jumped in their patrol cars and came to help and with the addition of four Rincon officers, four detectives, one major and myself. Calls were coming so fast 911 and Sheriff’s Dispatch could not keep up. I was receiving calls at home and on my cell phone, which proves one call center cannot handle the high volume of calls like this.

If a crash occurred and the vehicles were out of the road, we left the vehicles, and just got the people home, coming back later to remove the vehicles. No crimes occurred, but we had hundreds of calls that someone had to respond to. As of this date for the month of July, we have already pulled 1,180 case report numbers.

No matter what happens in the future budget meetings, citizen safety is paramount and will not be jeopardized.

I was elected to keep our citizens safe and will continue to do so. If you have any questions, please contact me or the finance analysis division of the Sheriff’s Office.

Jimmy McDuffie