Howard County Sheriff Herbert Stonesifer said he wants to restructure his department, and in his 1989 budget recommendations to County Executive Elizabeth Bobo he is seeking 12 additional officers and eight new vehicles.
Stonesifer, who just completed his first year in office, said in an interview that he plans to reorganize the department by creating two new positions, corporal and lieutenant, while eliminating the rank of deputy first class.
The proposed reorganization would create more promotion opportunities for the current staff of 20 sworn officers, Stonesifer said.
In addition, Stonesifer said he needs more supervisory positions to ease the workload that is expected to grow with the renovation and expansion of the Circuit Court building.
The sheriff's department is responsible for providing security for the district and circuit courts, serving subpoenas and bench warrants, transporting inmates to and from the county jail, as well as other detention centers, and handling landlord/tenant evictions.
The current ranking order in the department has Stonesifer at the top, followed by a chief deputy, two sergeants and two deputy first class officers.
If the reorganization plan is approved by the county, Stonesifer said he would follow county personnel procedures for promotions.
Eligible deputies would have to take written and oral tests, he said. Promotions would be based on test results, Stonesifer said.
Stonesifer is scheduled to submit his proposed 1989 budget to Bobo by Jan. 28. Last year, the County Council approved $927,705 for the sheriff's department, which, although a state agency, is totally dependent on county funding.
Stonesifer said he expects his proposed 1989 budget will be "over1 million dollars" when it is completed.
More sheriff's deputies will be needed next year after the $8.4 million construction is completed on the court building, Stonesifer said. His request for 12 additional officers would provide 24-hour security for the court buildings, he said.
In addition, Stonesifer said he plans to ask the county to buy eight new vehicles for the sheriff's office.
Normally, the department receives old police patrol cars, which have 100,000 or more miles on them, Stonesifer said. The cars put on an average of 23,000 miles a year, he said.