Daviess County Fiscal Court on Tuesday approved a $250,000 COPS grant that will give the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office the ability to hire two new deputies. The grant will cover nearly all the training and equipment charges related to the hiring.
Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said Fiscal Court has talked about hiring additional employees at DCSO for several years before Tuesday’s approval of the grant.
“The Sheriff thought he needed more men. We thought we needed more men on the road — of crews patrolling out in the counties,” Mattingly said. “That’ll become more and more evident as we have fewer and fewer state police patrolling in our area, and we’re actually covering for them a lot of times.”
In accepting the grant, Fiscal Court must agree to employ the deputies for at least four years, Mattingly said.
DCSO Chief Deputy Major Barry Smith said Fiscal Court would be reimbursed through the federal grant for three years, with the first year’s allocated funding already included in the 2020-2021 budget. Smith said $156,000 had already been included in this year’s budget for the first year.
The fourth year, expected to cost $220,000 for both deputies, would not be covered by the COPS Grant. However, Fiscal Court will cover the deputies’ fourth-year costs.
Smith said he was one of six officers hired in 1995 through a COPS Grant. Though Fiscal Court applied for the grant one other time since then, they were not awarded the funding, he said.
“It’s not a one-time shot. They do this every year,” Smith said. “We were very fortunate to be able to get it. This is the third time we’ve applied over the years.”