Home / Public safety / Marion County Sheriff’s Office Requests $8 Million Funding Increase

Marion County Sheriff’s Office Requests $8 Million Funding Increase

By

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is seeking an $8 million increase in funding, which would allow for additional deputies, corrections officers and new cars.

The Board of County Commissioners said it would take a drastic raise in taxes to grant the sheriff’s request for the additional $8 million.

Capt. James Pogue, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said the proposed $8 million increase could be useful in many ways, including updating the department’s fleet. He said most of the vehicles in its fleet are at least 5 years old.

Pogue said the sheriff proposed to let him hire 20 deputies, 16 to 20 correction officers for the jail and to purchase 30 cars.

Joe Rothenberger, a Marion County resident for more than 25 years, said he understands the sheriff’s office may need better funding, but if that means a 16 percent hike in property taxes, it’s too much.

“I’m a property owner, I own a house here and I would be upset because 16 percent is quite a bit and that would even affect me,” Rothenberger said.

Rothenberger agrees the police department could use the money.

“We’re gonna be out of protection in Marion County,” Rothenberger said. “We need the protection even though it’s a very safe county to live in. We still could use more help because there is crime here.”

Pogue hopes public safety proves to be the winning argument.

“I think between a combination of redistribution of current monies along with, yes, maybe a tax increase, it could be accomplished,” Pogue said. “Is it worth it? You tell me — it’s public safety. Are you worth it?”

But his office said a county proposal delivered Tuesday asked the sheriff’s office to cut more than $2 million. Despite tense negotiations, county commissioners still expect to hold their final vote on the budget at 7 p.m. Thursday.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

Check Also

FILE - In this Sunday, June 12, 2016 file photo, law enforcement officials work at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., following the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. More police departments are exploring technology that would allow 911 emergency dispatchers to receive text messages from people who need help. When gunshots rang out at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June, patrons hid from the gunman and frantically texted relatives to call 911 because Orlando doesn't have 911 texting. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

Nightclub Shooting Police Reports: Hysteria, Blood, Bodies

Dozens of narratives in supplemental police reports released Tuesday give greater details about the Orlando police response to last month's massacre of 49 patrons at the Pulse gay nightclub, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The officers who recount their role in the reports were the initial responders to a call from a fellow officer who was working security when gunman Omar Mateen began firing in the club.

  • a citizen of Ocala

    Ok, a tax increase isn’t great, but surely it is worth the protection of your property, your FAMILY and your piece of mind. What about all the husbands, wives and grown children that are out working, watching over and protecting us and risking their own lives every day and night? This means they need and deserve to be safe when they go to work. To help the ones who protect us, means they need safe cars and equipment, more backup and whatever else they need to do their jobs safely and proficiently. How would you feel if one of them didn’t make it home after a shift. I couldn’t imagine, could you???? You get nothing for free in this world and I know my priority is not money, it is for the safety of my family. We need our Sheriff’s Department and they need us…..

  • Penelope Fisher

    There are too many people who simply can’t afford a tax increase.

  • vicocala

    Teachers need pay raises before we add more policemen. Public safety is the red herring that is turning America into the USSR.