Sheriff makes case for deputies, cameras, radios

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers made the case yesterday that he needs three more deputies and more thanĀ half a million dollars to upgrade the departments radios and add video recording for deputies. When asked by County Council President Bill Lentz to prioritize which of his needs were the most important, Myers said they all were needed right now. ‘

08-19 Matt Myers long

Myers said the department also needs to pay the jail matron more and to better compensate the supervisors in the jail.

Council member Jorge Morales questioned whether a quiet community like Bartholomew County needs the camera equipment larger cities are getting. But Myers said Maj. Gary Myers said that the interstate brings the same quality and types of criminals that are seen in larger cities like Louisville and Indianapolis.

The cost for the cameras and radios would be paid over several years, the sheriff said.

The sheriff said that cameras would help protect both the deputies and the public. He cited an incident where a deputy was called to stop a black woman from walking on the interstate. The deputy, fearing a lawsuit or complaint, waited until more deputies arrived before stopping the woman because he wanted witnesses to what happened.

The council set aside all of the county departments new spending requests for consideration until they find out how much money is expected to come in next year.

Although originally scheduled to begin deliberating on the 2017 spending levels this morning, the council will now reconvene next Thursday and Friday. That will include an update from new adviser, Reedy Financial.