Meade County Sheriff’s Office stretched thin, Fiscal Court votes to help fund two additional

CHAD HOBBS

Editor

The Meade County Sheriff’s Deputies worked Highway 313 hard last week, in an attempt to get speeders and careless drivers under control on a stretch of highway that has become notorious for a long string of wrecks, several of which have resulted in fatalities.


The Meade County Sheriff’s Office is spread thin to put it mildly. Sheriff Wimpee says that with the way shift changes work the county only has a couple hours where there is an overlap that allows for two deputies to be patrolling the roadways of our county. The rest of the time, there is only one on duty at a time, including for most of the night. The Sheriff also went on to explain that even when he was a deputy, the biggest complaint the sheriff’s office received was the slow response time to calls. Unfortunately, it takes 40 minutes or longer to get from one end of the county to the other. As of late, the MCSO is receiving approximately 1,000 calls a month. Many times these calls come in back to back which means that if the single deputy on duty is taking care of one call, the others must wait until he clears the first call to proceed to the second call. Wimpee says that all law enforcement agencies in Meade County combined only gives the county 21 certified law enforcement officers. For those that are not aware, Meade County covers 305 square miles of both residences and businesses and an estimated population of 30,131 according to the United States Census Bureau’s estimate on July 1, 2021. This doesn’t necessarily account for the flux of contractors in and out of the area to work on new businesses such as Nucor. According to statistics, Wimpee says that this leaves Meade County 54 officers short of what the county’s population calls for, and the population continues to grow. He recently petitioned the Fiscal Court to help pay for two additional deputies and vehicles as his office is a fee based entity with that can’t support the additional $190,000 needed to fund the salaries, insurance, uniforms, weapons, armors, vehicles, ect. that he would need to bring on those two proposed additional deputies.

At this month’s Fiscal Court meeting, the court voted to pay $190,000 to fund two deputies and one vehicle for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

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