Sheriff Tony Helms

Sales tax revenue in the Lake Area is up, according to the Camden County Commission.

But the Sheriff’s Office needs more deputies, and just because sales tax revenue is up doesn’t mean more deputies can be hired with the money “I have to compete for this money, I just can’t get it because it’s there…if that makes sense” says Sheriff Tony Helms. He tells KRMS News he is proposing a quarter-cent sales tax increase “We’re kinda behind the curve. We need at least 10 more people, not just deputies…but an Animal Control officer and a civil process server. I just can’t stress enough….I don’t have enough people.”

Helms says summer’s not yet halfway over, but his department’s already feeling the pinch “I have burned up half of the department’s overtime, I’ve got to have more money. I just don’t have the people, so we’re scheduling people to come in on their off days…to work short 8 hour shifts, which is because we work 12 hours shifts regularly.”

Sheriff Helms says another problem he’s facing is the loss of some law enforcement personnel to higher pay checks in other jurisdictions.

Helms says Lake Area voters will decide in August on his proposed quarter-cent sales tax increase “this would be able to supply us with 10 more officers, all the raises and the following year it would allow us to give dispatch and the jailers a raise.”

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