Deputies provide defense

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Shelby County Commission stepped up to the plate to approve provisions for four new sheriff&8217;s deputies with the passage of its recent budget.

Sheriff Chris Curry has cited increased calls for service to his department as a reason to grant the increase in personnel. As recently as one year ago Curry said of a request for additional personnel, &8220;This request is for the citizens of this county. They tell us what we need in calls for service.&8221;

One needs only look at the Records section of this newspaper to see the numerous incidents and offense reports taken by sheriff&8217;s deputies. They include domestic violence, rape, robbery, theft of property, breaking and entering vehicles, illegal possession of controlled substances, missing persons &045;&045; the list goes on and on.

One also can look to the increasing population of the county and know that growth on such a magnitude will demand additional work for the personnel of the sheriff&8217;s and police departments.

As general fund revenues increased by about 18 percent, reaching almost $60.7 million for the coming fiscal year, and increases in general fund expenditures, including the four deputies, are about $60.4 million, it certainly looks as if the Shelby County Commission has cut this budget close.

But if we take our cue for the purpose and the responsibility of government from the preamble to the Constitution of the United States, it is to

&8220;establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.&8221;

Providing additional personnel to protect and serve the citizens of Shelby County is certainly a wise use of funds.