Court approves purchase of future equipment for Sheriff’s Department | News


JONESBOROVE — The Craighead County Sheriff’s Department will soon purchase four new Chevy Tahoes after an emergency bidding exemption resolution was passed at the Craighead County Quorum Court in Jonesboro Monday night.

Under the ordinance, Ordinance 2022-33 approved the 2023 budget for the Craighead County Sheriff’s Department, which includes the purchase of four sets of police vehicles.

However, there were no available state quotes, police packages in Arkansas or surrounding areas due to vehicle shortages, and it is not known when these types of vehicles will be available again due to supply disruptions.

Although extensive research was done to find cars of comparable price, none were available, but there were four Chevy Tahoes police packs found by Superior Automotive Group in Siloam Springs that the Sheriff’s Department could quickly get their hands on.

It also stated that the Sheriff’s Department was in desperate need of public safety vehicles due to having an older fleet with several current vehicles with 179,000 miles or more; so a state of emergency clause was added.

After reading the resolution, new JP Linda Ellison requested clarification that the purchase was already in the county’s budget, to which Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd stood up to reply that yes, it was already in the budget.

“We ordered these four cars last year due to a lack of cars,” Boyd replied, noting that they actually reserved the cars in 2022 and will likely have to do the same next year as well.

JP Kevin Williams also noted that there were no discounts now because demand is very high.

Craighead County Judge Marvin Day agreed, saying the county should have done the same last year for the county’s much-needed vehicles.

Boyd said they hope to have the cars by March.

The next decision was an appropriation for additional stipends to the salaries of full-time law enforcement officers, which was adopted.

Under the ruling, the county’s budget will be adjusted to include three scholarships of $5,000 plus an employer’s share of FICA and Medicare taxes, including $1,147.50 for Social Security and $2,298 for retirement.

This money will be sent by the State in accordance with Law 224, which has been allocated funds for Law Enforcement Scholarships for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023.

This amendment increased the amount allocated to the Sheriff’s Department budget by $18,445.50, bringing the total county sheriff’s budget for 2023 to $4,602,151.24.

After Reading Day, it turned out that the three deputies who were affected by this decree had not yet received training at the time of receiving the grant, but now they are eligible.

The next appropriation ordinance, which also affected the Sheriff’s Department, amended the budget to add Fund 3530, Department 0400 to add state grant money made available through the Arkansas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Law 786 of 2021.

The county received $20,633.43 in a DPS Public Safety Equipment Grant to purchase two drones, along with mast-mounted cameras, to aid in Sheriff’s Office investigations.

JP Garrett Barnes asked if the equipment would be new to the department or a replacement, to which Boyd stated that two cameras would be new, however they did not assign locations for them; and one of the drones will be used as a replacement.

The most recent was an appropriation ordinance that allocated an additional $22,738.28 to the Craighead County Attorney’s 1000, Division 0416 Fund for a proportionate share of the District Attorney’s executive administrator’s expenses.

The change increased the total from $8,500 to $31,238.28, as Craighead County is responsible for paying 31 percent of the executive administrator’s expenses to the district in which the prosecutor was elected.

Because Sonia E. Fonticella is the State’s Attorney for the 2nd Judicial District, a pro rata share will be paid to Green County effective January 1, 2023.

According to Day, the county has always paid for the administrator’s expenses.

Allison asked if 31 percent was always in the budget, to which Day clarified that it was not in the previous budget because the county reimbursed Crittenden County for year-end cleanup orders, however, Greene County gave them an amount this time so they could make funds available to the budget now, instead of waiting.

“We didn’t plan for this in previous years because we didn’t have an exact amount until the end of the year, but we knew the responsibility,” Day said.

Following the passage of this ruling, Day announced that applications for courtroom expansion should be submitted by March.

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