On the Beat in Bluffton

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sheriff's candidates discuss wages, use of department cars off duty

Incumbent Sheriff Monte Fisher, Republican, and his challenger and the position's previous holder Bob Frantz, Democrat, were asked 20 questions Monday evening at the Wells County Constitutional Patriots forum.

 While a more detailed summary of other issues – including the legalization of marijuana, how to handle the county's drug problem and inmates' access to religious materials at the jail – appears in the Tuesday, Oct. 14, News-Banner, here are their thoughts on department wages and use of vehicles off duty.

 When asked if they believe the salary for sheriff is appropriate, and on what basis should it be increased, Frantz said he wants the deputies paid, and paid well, because they are the ones out on the road and then raising families on those salaries.

"If that means docking me, then do it," Frantz said. "But give them more money."
Frantz said his salary was based on the revenue he brought in.

Fisher said the Department of Correction isn't holding prisoners as long in the county jail. He said $240,000 was brought in last year from these inmates, but as of the end of September this year only $206,000 has been brought in. He said he also contracts for federal inmates, which brought in $18,000.

Fisher said he also believes the deputies need to be compensated for being the department's workforce.
When asked if they support deputies taking home department vehicles, both Fisher and Frantz said they support it as it increases the department's presence around the county.

Frantz said limits could be put in place, but it's necessary for the cars to be seen.
"I don't encourage them hauling around their wives and kids in it," Frantz said, noting it could be dangerous.
He said as sheriff, people expressed displeasure with him not getting unmarked cars. Frantz said unmarked cars don't deter crime.

Fisher said officers do work when they are are off duty.
"If they see something, they're going to handle it," Fisher said.

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