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Monday, July 17, 2017

Bates County Sheriff’s Office renegotiated the inmate housing contract with the United States Marshal Service

On 7/13/17 the Bates County Sheriff’s Office announces that it has renegotiated the inmate housing contract with the United States Marshal Service. 

The Sheriff and his administrative staff have worked diligently over the last several weeks with a consulting firm and the Marshal Service during the negotiations to ensure the best possible rate and conditions in the contract. 

Bates County has actively held a contract with the Marshals Service since the construction of the Bates County Law Enforcement Center in 2003. One of the major changes in the new contract allows for a higher daily per diem rate per detainee based off current and projected future expenses. The contract allows this new per diem rate to be set for 48 months at which point the Sheriff’s Office can renegotiate the rate again based off expenditures at that time.

“This is exciting news for the Sheriff’s Office and Citizens of Bates County. Not only did this contract create new jobs in 2003 but it also brought much need revenue into the county. That revenue allows for the Sheriff’s Office to supply much needed state of the art, equipment for our deputies and jailers to do the job that the citizens expect.” Says Sheriff Anderson. “Most importantly this contract has helped ease the financial burden on the citizens to fund law enforcement functions of the Sheriff’s Office in the past and now in the future.”

In 1988 the Citizens recognized the need for a funding source for law enforcement and passed a half cent sales tax to fund county law enforcement. That tax goes into the County Law Enforcement Fund that funds multiple offices to include the Prosecutors Office, Juvenile Office, Coroner’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office. “That local tax generates approximately $600,000 a year, so through contracts like this one, we are able to supplement the operations of the Sheriff’s Office thus being one of the few counties that have not asked for a tax increase for the operational needs of law enforcement since 1988.” Says Sheriff Anderson. “In the budget year 2016 the Sheriff’s Office only received approximately 7% of its total budget from the County Half Cent Law Enforcement Sales Tax. The rest of our budget was generated through housing contracts and services provided by the Sheriff’s Office.”

“When I took Office on January 1, 2009, The Sheriff’s Office was operating in the red and had approximately $400,000 in unpaid bills from the previous year. I was tasked to work within a budget for year 2009 that did not expect to see such a deficit. We went to work at the task and by the end of year we were operating in the positive and have been since. I asked my staff to do more with less. I asked them to find the waste and do away with that. I challenged them to come up with ways to be more efficient and effective. I am proud that they accepted that challenge and continue to accept that challenge today.” Says Sheriff Anderson.

“In 2009, I began to work on many areas that needed improvement at the Sheriff’s Office. First and foremost was the desire to meet the needs of our citizens in a professional manner. We started by raising the professional standards of our Patrol and Jail staff. We then made sure the staff of the Sheriff’s Office had the tools and training to meet the expectations of the Citizens. We began by purchasing state of the art equipment and made sure we had a fully funded training budget to continue to educate our deputies and detention officers of new trends and requirements. Now I believe it is time to take care of the people who continue to work hard every day in a very dangerous profession. Over the years my staff has worked hard to fulfill these contracts that have generated millions of dollars for our county and law enforcement needs. These professionals have been the lowest paid professionals in law enforcement in the immediate area including several surrounding counties.”

“With the additional revenue allocated from the new contract, I have presented a new salary schedule for our staff to the County Commissioners. I am proud to say that working together with the Commissioners we will implement the new salaries in January of 2018. Currently our probationary Detention Officer’s salary is $20800.00 a year and our probationary Deputy starts at $23358.00 a year. Starting in 2018 our Detention Officer’s salary will increase to $28,000.00 and our Deputies salary will increase to $34,000.00. While we still have a lot of room for salary improvement to be competitive with similar agencies, these adjusted salaries will help in retaining and attracting quality employees. I am excited that we will no longer be a “training ground” for other agencies. I am also excited that we are able to make these necessary adjustments without the need to ask the tax payers for additional taxes” Says Sheriff Anderson.

Sheriff Anderson would like to thank the Commissioners and other Office Holders for their hard work in recognizing the needs of the Community and Sheriff’s Office. Working together we are able to move our county forward in an efficient and effective manner. He would also like to say Thank You to the Citizens of Bates County for being supportive of your Sheriff’s Office and all our employees. We are proud to serve such a great community!