Even though a 10 percent hourly and salary cut was established by the previous Elbert Board of County Commissioners for all county departments, one …
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Even though a 10 percent hourly and salary cut was established
by the previous Elbert Board of County Commissioners for all county
departments, one department cannot operate on those standards.
That message was delivered when Elbert County Undersheriff
Shayne Heap faced the county board Jan. 21 explaining the
consequences the county and the sheriff’s department will face if
the 10 percent cut is continued in his department.
Heap stressed that to adhere to the 10 percent cut, the
sheriff’s office is prohibited from having service 24 hours a day
seven days a week due to the lack of manpower. He also said the cut
would force the jail to close six days a month, which would cause a
lack in revenue to the county. He said the sheriff’s office is not
like other county departments that can be closed one day a week
without hindering the public safety.
“Colorado state statute states that the deputies cannot work
satisfactorily for the duties that are imposed upon them by working
one less day a week,” he said. “It is a public safety issue.”
So, to maintain the state requirements, Heap asked the board to
maintain a separate standard for the sheriff’s office by restoring
their 2008 salary of 171 working hours per month. He said the lack
of coverage in the county is too big of a liability to be
The board agreed with Heap, and approved the previous salary
base for the office.
“Clearly we have a situation on our hands to address,” said Hope
Goetz, chairman of the board.
During Heap’s presentation, he also spoke about the model
traffic code, which was approved in May 2008 by the previous
commissioner board. The code allows funds from fines to go directly
back to the sheriff’s office into a law enforcement assistance
fund. The sheriff’s office did a four-week study calculating the
total amount of revenue gathered from the model traffic code. In
four weeks, $100,000 was collected from a variety of fines
including civil processes, traffic citations, fingerprinting and
sex offender registrations.
Heap said he anticipates a total revenue of $1.5 million will be
collected in 2009 and instead of the sheriff’s office keeping all
the funds, Heap offered to share the money with the entire
But to earn the money, the sheriff’s office must first have the
manpower to properly run the program. Heap is asking for at least
four more positions to fill the necessary needs of the program to
“I need money to make money,” he said. “I believe given the
opportunity to run this program will also significantly provide
assistance to other county departments.”
Before a decision can be made, the board asked Heap to submit a
written statement on the exact needs of the sheriff’s office to run
the model traffic code program properly and present it at the next
board meeting Jan. 28.
“The four-week study does show us what can be done with the
proper staffing,” Goetz said. “I believe that is something we need
to look at and I believe we really need to restore your
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