FARMINGTON — County commissioners recommended the requested $1.5 million sheriff’s department budget and a $792,479 communications center budget Wednesday.

The two budgets were part of an overall $5.5 million budget recommended by the board, in the first step toward finalizing the county budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. The recommended budget is up 4 percent from the current fiscal year’s.

The commissioners are expected to finish reviewing all budget requests today and give their recommendations to the Budget Committee, which will schedule public hearings to review them.

Some of the minor increases in the budget are for new technology purchases and would be one-time expenses, Nichols said.

The department plans to buy small cameras that deputies can wear while on duty. Nichols said not all of their cruisers have cameras, which Nichols said are important in law enforcement to let the deputies know they are being monitored and to protect them from false allegations of misconduct.

Nichols said the cameras would cost about $1,000 each and are a more economical and mobile option compared to cameras within the vehicles.

The department also plans to buy additional body armor because the current vests are inadequate against rifle fire.

The firearms budget was reduced by $2,000 and reduced to more essential expenses, Nichols said.

“We’d like to have all kinds of toys, … but we said, ‘Let’s be realistic here,’ and we dropped it,” he said.

The dispatch center has asked for $2,500 to send dispatchers to a recertification class. The state recommends attending one every other year.

Sheriff Scott Nichols said the dispatchers have not been able to attend such classes as regularly as recommended.

“Their training has been pretty inadequate,” he said.

The classes are designed to increase the dispatcher’s skill level and decrease liability, he said.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252
[email protected]

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