When the issue of staffing in the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department came up twice in the past few weeks, it was revealed Sheriff Casey Cox had sought funding for four additional patrol deputies last fiscal year – because the size of the patrol squad had not increased in nearly two decades. Cumberland County also has fewer patrol deputies than counties that are considerably smaller. Nevertheless, the budget committee did not act on Cox’s request for additional staffing.
When 1057 News met with Cumberland County Mayor Allen Foster this morning, the issue of new sheriff’s deputies – and funding for them – came up. Foster noted the county responded to requests last year for resource officers in the four remaining county schools that had none, on a one-year allocation of funds.
“We added four additional school resource officers last year… we absorbed the funding for that,” Foster said. While he acknowledged resource officers are vital to helping to ensure school safety, he said SROs don’t equate to patrol deputies.
He believes Cox will likely request additional deputies for the upcoming fiscal year. “The budget process starts in early May this year,” Foster said, “and we’ll see then how many he’s requesting.”