Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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March 10, 2014

County OKs more overtime

Corsicana — At the request of Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner, the county commissioners court authorized transferring another $50,000 into overtime pay, primarily for the jail.

The department had 890 overtime hours in the last pay period, Tanner told the commissioners.

The money came from the salary fund and was put into the overtime fund to help keep the patrols and jail running.

“We transferred $50,000 a month ago and it’s nearly depleted again,” Tanner said following the meeting.

“We’re 18 positions short,” he added.

The department hired one person, but one more person quit, and another has said he will be quitting, Tanner said. The department has gotten plenty of applications and is having review/hiring meetings weekly, but three-fourths of the applicants aren’t hirable, often because they fail either the polygraph test or the psychological test, Tanner said.

If they can’t hire enough people to relieve the current group, they’ll have to continue the transfers in coming months, Tanner said.

Tanner has asked the commissioners to authorize higher pay for deputies, in an effort to stem the losses to other agencies.

In other business, the commissioners approved buying a new recording system for the sheriff’s office which will cost $18,477. Rather than spend all the maintenance funds at once, the department is doing a three-year lease-purchase agreement for $6,159 per year.

The sheriff’s office uses the machinery to record all incoming calls as well as dispatches, and the recordings have to be of a high-enough quality that they can be used later in court, if needed, explained Capt. Brett Latta, who is over communications and technology for the department.

“This records all phone lines plus 20 channels of radio traffic,” Latta told the commissioners. “Pretty much everything we do is recorded either in video or audio.”

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