Fox 16 reported recently on questions about slow bill payment by Sheriff Eric Higgins at the Pulaski County sheriff’s office, more than $1 million in lagging payments, including for body cameras

Now comes a courthouse source with a report on sheriff’s office staffing:

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August 18, 2020:

 

502 Total positions- 107 total vacancies = 21.5% vacancy rate

 

Enforcement: 24 Vacant positions–  14 Deputies,  4 Sergeants,  5 Administrative , Dispatcher

Detention:  83 Vacant positions – 61 Detention Officers, 6 Sergeants, 4 Administrative, 5 Clerks, 3 Lieutenants, 4 Support Staff

With 107 open positions, the office should have some free cash flow.

I’ve sent questions to the sheriff on both topics.

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UPDATE: Here’s a fuller report to the Quorum Court from Justin Blagg, director of government services.

2017: 498 budgeted positions  – 17 total vaccines to start fiscal year 2017:

Enforcement: 3 Vacant positions  – 1 Major and 2 Dispatchers

Detention: 14 Vacant positions – 9 Detention Officers, 2 clerks, 3 Support staff

Appropriated salary for deputies/detention officers: $37,890

 

2018: 504 budgeted positions  – 23 total vacancies to start fiscal year 2018  (Six additional deputy positions in enforcement were created for fiscal year 2018.)

Enforcement: 7 Vacant positions  –  6 Deputies, 1 Dispatcher

Detention: 16 Vacant positions –  13 Detention Officers, 1 Clerk, 2 Support staff

Appropriated salary for deputies/detention officers: $38,650

 

2019: 504 budgeted positions  –  22 total vacancies to start fiscal year 2019

Enforcement: 8 Vacant positions  –  6 Deputies, 1 Sergeant, 1 Clerk

Detention: 14 vacant positions – 8 Detention Officers, 3 support staff, 2 Lieutenants, 1 clerk

Appropriated salary for deputies/detention officers: 39,410

 

 

2020 :  502 total budgeted positions –  69 total vacancies  to start fiscal year 2020 (7 deputy positions in detention were eliminated from June 2019-June 2020 to upgrade current positions and  to add  Administrative Positions)

Enforcement:  19 Vacant positions – 12 Deputies, 2 Administrative, Major, Sergeant, Captain, Clerk, Dispatcher

Detention: 50 Vacant positions – 37 Detention Officers, 4 Support Staff, 3 Clerks, 3 Sergeants, 2 Administrative, Captain

Appropriated salary for deputies/ detention officers: $40,200.

 

 

 

Based on fiscal year to fiscal year data,  and while there are six fewer dentition officer positions in the 2020 fiscal year, the  number of vacancies to begin fiscal year 2020 is higher than the previous three fiscal cycles beginning in 2017.    The number of vacancies to start the 2020 fiscal year is roughly 200% higher/three times compared to the previous three fiscal years.

 

The number of vacancies from the beginning of fiscal year 2017 to 2019 were essentially the same at about a 4%  average vacancy rate to start the year.

The number of vacancies at beginning of fiscal cycle 2020, with 502 employees and 69 vacancies,  is a about a 14% vacancy rate.

 

The number of vacancies has gone from an average of 4% to 14% while budgeted salaries have increased for deputies and detention officers by roughly 6%  since 2017.

 

As of Today:

August 18, 2020: 502 Total positions- 107 total vacancies = 21.5% vacancy rate

Enforcement: 24 Vacant positions–  14 Deputies,  4 Sergeants,  5 Administrative , Dispatcher

Detention:  83 Vacant positions – 61 Detention Officers, 6 Sergeants, 4 Administrative, 5 Clerks, 3 Lieutenants, 4 Support Staff

 

In conclusion, the year to year date seems to support that there has been a significant jump in vacancies beginning in fiscal year 2020.