Wicomico Approves $91K Sheriff’s Office Expenses

SALISBURY – The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office will use more than $91,000 in unanticipated revenue to fund unforeseen facility and operational costs.

In a legislative session of the Wicomico County Council last week, Capt. Tod Richardson met with councilmembers to outline how the department would allocate $91,514.95 the Sheriff’s Office received from the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the Wicomico County Circuit Court and the state’s sex offender monitoring initiative.

According to Richardson, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office received $45,336.95 from the MPD for the county’s assistance in January’s presidential inauguration.

He explained a portion of the revenue would be used to cover the department’s fuel, per diem and overtime costs associated with the deputies’ assistance.

“A lot of our transportation was provided by bus once we were there,” Richardson said.

The remaining $27,366 will be used to cover more than $14,000 in legal fees from a lawsuit that occurred in years prior and an emergency roof repair at the Sheriff’s Office.

Richardson explained that the $27,366 was provided to fund the 25 deputies’ salaries during their four days in Washington, D.C. Because their salaries were already included in the current fiscal budget, he added that the money would be used to supplement other projects.

“It gives us money to take care of this now,” he said.

Council President John Cannon asked Richardson if the money should be placed in the salary account.

“I was still confused about the $27,366 that was reimbursed for salaries,” he said. “Is that something that isn’t required to go back into the salaries? Can that be transferred to offset other costs?”

Richardson explained that in years past the department transferred allotted salary money to other accounts.

“One year we were down four people and we actually moved money from salaries to cover other costs,” he said. “In this case, instead of placing it into the salary account and then asking to have it moved, we’re having it placed directly where the need is.”

The $31,400 the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Department received from the state’s sex offender monitoring initiative, as well as $14,778 the department received in forfeited money from the Wicomico County Circuit Court, will be used to administer the Offender Watch Program, purchase new vehicle computer mounts, computer equipment and portable radio headsets, and repair six vehicles that were damaged in deer strikes.

“We budgeted for three accidents that we would have to pay the $1,000 deductable,” Richardson said. “Out of those six deer strikes, we had two within three minutes on a Sunday morning. They were on opposite sides of the county and weren’t related. Right now that account is in the hole due to paying the extra deductibles.”

Richardson also explained that a large portion of money would be used to purchase 15 portable radio headsets. He said a recent hostage barricade situation allowed them to identify a communication issue with the department’s current system and realize the need for new headsets.

The council unanimously voted in favor, with Councilmen Larry Dodd and John Hall absent, to approve the appropriation of funds.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.