Madison County Sheriff’s Office benefiting from approved commission budget

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - The Madison County Commission approved its 2019 budget Wednesday morning. It has a roughly a $1.9 million increase in revenue from last year's budget.

It includes money for pay raises and funding for the Madison County Sheriff's office that will hopefully help fill positions at the sheriff's office and jail.

The sheriff's office originally requested an additional $3.8 million in funding from the commission. Although the commission could not give the sheriff's office that entire amount in extra funding, more than 55% of the general fund of this newly approved budget is going to the sheriff's office.

Out of the $58 million in the general fund budget, $32 million of it is heading to the sheriff's office, but where is that money going?

Some is going towards hiring 10 new deputies in March of 2019. Having more deputies hopefully means making Madison County a safer place.

"We're elated that we got that many," said Sheriff Blake Dorning. "This is the first time ever that we've had that large of a number of deputy sheriffs allotted to the sheriff's office."

Another place the sheriff's office needs this funding? Running the jail, and in Madison County's case, a jail that has at least 150 more inmates than they're budgeted for.

"Any county in this country that operates a jail, their greatest financial burden is that of the jail and the operation of the jail," Dorning said.

Some of the money will go towards replacing small parts of the jail that aren't working properly, like shower heads and toilets.

Dorning said even though they didn't get all of the additional funding they requested they know that the commission is doing their best to give all of the additional funding that they can to the sheriff's office.

One of the main concerns from the sheriff's office when asking for the additional funding was raising dispatcher pay. The commission's budget will work for those raises but the sheriff's office does not know exactly how much that raise will be.