The Montgomery County Quorum Court voted Monday to approve the creation of one full-time jail/dispatch position in the county criminal justice complex. Funds were also appropriated to fund the new position.
The late filing of the ordinance was questioned by County Judge Sammy Jones. When he presented the ordinance to the Justices of the Peace for consideration he stated that they had just received the request the day of the meeting. This didn’t give the appropriation committee time to meet and consider the ordinance.
Judge Jones stated that he wasn’t against the position, but wished they had received it earlier. Montgomery County Sheriff David White took responsibility for the late filing. He explained that his office was forced to move into the new facility sooner than expected due to the 911 system being moved three weeks ago. Once they were in the new facility the need for the requested position became clear to the sheriff and jail administrator Fuzz Robbins.
Sheriff White was asked if the jail was currently fully staffed. He stated that when he was campaigning for the new facility he had shared that they would probably need at least 15 fulltime employees which did not include administrators. The Sheriff added that he would probably need a total of two or three more employees at some point to fully staff the jail.
Robbins explained that currently they have 15 fulltime employees which includes administration. This is just enough to run the facility. He stated that if someone needs to take a day off that means an administrator has to fill their shift. This takes from their duties, as well as accumulates comp hours. The requested position would provide another staff member to fill in on requested days off.
The question of where the funds would come from was raised. County Treasurer Debbie Boling stated that they could sort that out at the end of the year. The county sales tax fund for the upkeep of the jail currently about $1.3 million. Sheriff White stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had not hurt funds generated from tax revenue. He cited a rise in online shopping as a factor in the increase in the funds.
The JPs decided to vote on the ordinance which passed unanimously.
The sheriff’s office has been in the new facility since June 24. While there have been some issues which have been described as “growing pains” often faced when moving into a new facility, the sheriff’s office has moved all services to the new facility.
They are currently housing around 20 inmates which include men and women prisoners.
MC Jail gains one full time position