SUMMERVILLE — Dorchester County residents will get four more sheriff’s deputies, as County Council scrambles to find a way to pay them.
Council this week approved adding the deputies after Sheriff L.C. Knight pleaded in December to augment shifts that cover more than 500 miles in the county with only 10 patrol officers to shift.
Knight agreed to put off buying four new vehicles, in order to pay for the deputies until July 1, the beginning of the new budget year. After that, council has to find $235,000 per year. But council members agreed there is a need.
“We’ll find this money,” Councilman George Bailey said. Council plans an extended retreat this spring to streamline the proposed 2013-2014 budget and take out inefficiencies.
County Administrator Jason Ward said revenue is coming in ahead of expectations and “is in a positive place” compared to recent years of reductions due to the economy.
Knight said putting off the car replacement means the vehicles will have to run 175,000 miles instead of 150,000, the point where cars regularly are replaced. But, “I can make it,” he said.