Sheriff: 'We need a plan'; Commissioner: 'We have a plan'

Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard says the situation involving cruisers at the sheriff's office is becoming desperate.
Scott Seitz2
Oct 1, 2012

The situation involving cruisers at the sheriff's office is becoming desperate, Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard says.

"Seven times in four years I've made a request for cruisers," Howard said. "I'm drafting a letter now to send to the county commissioners and that will make an eighth request.

"The commissioners need to develop a plan for the cruisers," Howard added. "It's their responsibility. They are the management and control the purse strings. We can only spend the money we are provided with."

Howard said Friday he's tired of hearing the commissioners gave his budget $50,000 earlier in 2012.

"They said I could spend that money on either cars or manpower," Howard said, adding he wasn't about to lay off deputies.

"I chose to keep people employed," he added. "The commissioners need a plan. It's time for action, in fact, it's way past the time for action. The safety of the public and the deputies is on the line."

Howard said the majority of the fleet is in "poor condition."

The sheriff recently spent $3,500 out of the Furtherance of Justice fund to buy a car from a nearby police department that had 114,000 miles on it and hail damage.

County Commissioner Larry Silcox said Friday afternoon there is a plan for cruisers.

"We bought three cruisers last year and we're going to buy another three this year, but the sheriff wanted personnel," Silcox said. "That was his choice.

"We'll look at this again next year and if the money is there, we will buy three more cruisers," he said. "That is the plan. I don't see it as an issue."

Silcox said that was the same plan that worked with retired Sheriff Richard Sutherland.

Howard along with Capt. Ted Patrick also said Friday the sheriff's office can't get any cooperation out of county mechanic Lon Burton.

The mechanic is supervised by the county commissioners.

Burton was hired by the county in 1999 and earns an annual salary of $39,644, according to auditor's office records.

"We have a couple cars with no radios and asked the county mechanic to install the radios and he refused to do that," Patrick said. "He said that wasn't in his job description. The mechanic isn't apparently being supervised because there have been several months of requests."

The sheriff said he's about to hire an outside to mechanic to equip the cruisers.

"That's at a cost of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money," he said.

After hearing this Friday, Silcox directly called the mechanic.

"That's absolutely untrue," Silcox said. "The mechanic has said a couple times in the past that things weren't in his job description when it clearly is. That was well in the past."

Silcox said he's received no complaints recently about the mechanic from the sheriff.

"I talked to the mechanic and told him anything the sheriff wants him to do, he will do," Silcox said.

Comments

AnAmerican

4.1 to 4.7 million budget. Cost compare to similar sized counties and you'll find he is about a million bucks ahead than his counterparts. Smoke and mirrors. He is responsible for dispersing his own budget. He plays the big game and this newspaper falls at his feet.
Please call up your Commissioners and ask them personally. Every time you have a question ask your Commissioners YOURSELF. They work for you and you'd be very surprised at what you are NOT reading in the newspaper.

sunflower1

I can honestly say that I do not know anyone at the HCSO. Therefore, I have no agenda. I do have an opinion however. I want the sheriffs department to have the staff and equipment that it needs to insure my safety. I trust in the Sheriff to make those decisions. I sleep like a baby at night because I entrust law enforcement to help keep me safe. I want them to take their patrol cars home with them. I want them to be able to run out to their car and get to whoever needs them as fast as they can. I appreciate the job they do every day with drugs in our County and the job they do to ensure our safety. I think of law enforcement as a branch of the military. I want them to have the best of everything they need so I dont have to live in fear. And I will add that I dont mind one bit paying for that safety.

AnAmerican

Sounds great, and they can provide all of the above with 4.1 to 4.7 million in funds, as long as the Sheriff uses his funds appropriately.

Lillie Chaos

@ Sunflower.....you must live in town.

@ AnAm.....BINGO!!!!

Rural Monroeville

as a full time parent, factory work and farmer I try to stay out of these discussions but I have to agree. There is NO sign of any law enforcement or concern. On the rural roads we have security lights, electric fences, dogs and weapons and usually someone has to be on the place to have any peace of mind. I for one, feel I have to take care of my own security because I have no confidence in anyone helping in emergencies. The times have changed and priorities are not the same as they used to be. Our fields are a play ground for anyone wanting to cut donuts. The things we work for are fair game to anyone who wants to carry them off to buy drugs. Ugly truth. Hunting season is here now I have to watch out for nitwits with guns taking pot shots in every direction without hunting permission.

sunflower1

Re: Lillie Chaos.... No, I dont live in town. I am a Huron County resident though. I have no idea what amount of money it takes to run a Sheriff Department, any more than most other people. That's why we are not doing it and they are. I wouldn't expect HCSO to know what amount of money it takes to run my home or run the business I am employed at either. I dont want them driving a beaten down clunker or armed with sub par weapons. I want them to have the best for cripe sake. I also want them to be paid well for putting their lives on the line every time they go to a drug bust or pull some idiot over alongside the highway. This aint Mayberry folks.

Sitting In The ...

I could of sworn I commented on this article....yet for some reason it gone.

Sitting In The ...

Let’s do the math……
$ 4,100,000 / 12 months = $ 341,166.66 / 30 days = $ 11,388.88 / 24 hours= $ 474.54hr.
$ 4,700,000 / 12 months = $ $ 391,666.66 / 30 days = 13,055.55 / 24 hours = 543.98hr.
I used these figures based on what others posted. I searched thru numerous websites and was unable to locate one listing of the Sheriff’s budget.

Dusty

I did find Ashland County Sheriff's office is $3.7 million for 2012. Much less than Huron County's and there getting the job done just fine.

arnmcrmn

Also a different county with different judges. The reason drug dealers stay around here is because of our JUDICIAL system. If you force them out by tougher laws and penalties, they will leave...believe me. Vote for different personnel in the law offices. Thats a solid start.

Lillie Chaos

Now that is a plan I would like to follow. I doubt anyone would complain about more taxes or more expense if we saw some real return on our investment instead of having to always be in fear of who is out there. I can not for the life of me understand why we can't follow such a simple solution!!!!

signersdecendant

Here is a plan, SAVE MONEY don't waste it! Ride a bicycle to work! You are only going to the office 12 miles away! Give your cruiser to another officer, so they can get to work!

Dusty

He has a VERY nice SUV he drives! Any Deputy would be proud to have that ride! He can get back and forth to the office in any old beater car. Put that SUV on the front line.

Sitting In The ...

Why should we give you more money you'll just ask for more in Three more months. Your term has been one disaster after another and yet your more worried about getting more and more money and never have said how you will correct any of the F(*& ups, what are we at just this year? I came up with Seven in only the last Ten months. YOU SUCK Sutherland Jr.

2008HD

In reference to the cruiser crisis Howard is whining about, the commissioners needs to put a stop of the transport deputy's taking the two newest cruisers home as their O.P.V.. One cruiser in Norwalk and the other goes to Bellevue. Under retired Sheriff Richard Sutherland, Dick utilized a van as a transports vehicle. So why can't Howard request a van and put the newest two cruisers to the front line. So Howard shut up about your cruiser crisis or get out and let Jamie run the S.O..

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