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Sheriff's Office To Hire 40 Deputies; Sheriff Says More Are Needed

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office plans to hire some new deputies after county commissioners approved using $1.4 million from the office’s contingency fund. But the sheriff and commissioners are still at odds over expanding the office’s budget. The 40 new deputies are expected to fill vacant positions at county jails. The seven civilian jobs will work in radio communications, and officials say they should free up deputies for patrol shifts. But Sheriff Zach Scott expects 50 more deputies to retire this year, and he said he needs about 80 more workers: deputies and civilians. “We have to get our staff up to where it needs to be, first of all," Scott said. "And that’s going to be, like I said, we’re expecting may 50 retire this year, so that won’t even come close to handling the 40 we just hired now to backfill the 50 that’s going to leave and 80 that left last year.â€? The sheriff’s office recently hired about 35 deputies, but Scott said that still is not enough. Commissioner president John O’Grady said he is not convinced expanding the staff is needed. “I’m not saying we can’t replace folks who retire, that we can’t replace current positions," O'Grady said. "It’s the expansion of that budget that I am absolutely questioning.â€? O’Grady said the sheriff’s budget has nearly doubled since the 9-11 terror attacks, from $49 million to $94 million.