SNOW HILL – County officials agreed this week to fund several new public safety positions in the coming year’s budget.
During a budget work session Tuesday, the Worcester County Commissioners agreed to include funding for three new sheriff’s deputies as well as the conversion of several part-time positions to full-time in the fiscal year 2022 budget. Sheriff Matt Crisafulli said he was grateful the commissioners supported the changes, as his office, like law enforcement nationwide, struggles with hiring.
“These positions will help us replenish the staffing in our courts, schools, and in our community…,” Crisafulli said. “All of these positions are instrumental to provide the needed security for Worcester County, as our county continues to grow. The added positions not only enhance the safety of our residents, but also the safety of my personnel. My office is thankful that these needed positions are being funded by our county commissioners.”
The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office proposes to convert four part-time positions in its school unit and three part-time positions in its civil unit to full-time positions. The office also plans to hire three new full-time deputies. The changes are expected to cost roughly $747,000 in the coming fiscal year.
Other new employees the commissioners agreed to fund this week included an assistant state’s attorney and an investigator requested by the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office. Other additions include a trio of communication clerks for Worcester County Emergency Services. Billy Birch, the county’s emergency services director, said turnover was high with dispatchers and the county needed more on duty to handle situations—such as the recent accident on Route 90—when there were multiple calls related to a single incident.
“This is not a want, this is a need,” Birch said.
The commissioners are expected to continue budget review next week, as they still have a more than $2 million shortfall to address prior to budget adoption.