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Sheriff hopes for above-budget excess fees

The Jessamine County Fiscal Court ended 2020 on a good note.

Jessamine County Sheriff Kevin Corman, in presenting his 2021 budget and salary cap, said he expects the amount of excess fees to be turned over to the county will be well above the projected $131,000.

“We’re certain we’ll be around $300,000 to $350,000 instead of the $131,000 projected,” Corman told the magistrates during a Dec. 29 meeting.

Some of that money comes from vacant positions and reduced maintenance expenses as the department replaces older vehicles with new ones, he said.

The court also approved the annual salary cap for the sheriff’s office, which grew by $43,000 for 2021. Corman said the increase covered annual salary increases for his staff.

“Thank you for the good news,” Jessamine County Judge-Executive David West said about the excess fees.

Still, there are vacancies in the department but hiring new deputies continues to be a challenge.

Corman said new deputies won’t be able to start the state-run police academy training until July 2021. Instead of taking about a year for a brand new deputy to be ready to patrol, now it is taking 18 months, he said. Once officers or deputies complete the academy, they are under contract with that agency for a period of time, he said. If an officer leaves for another agency before the contract time runs out, the new agency is liable to reimburse the other for the academy expenses, he said.

“I’d rather be short than not have good people,” Corman said, adding he won’t talk to officers who are under contract.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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