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Gun at school adds to budget requests
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Liberty County commissioners were wading through budget requests from department heads this week, some spending plans staying about the same as this year and some requiring budget writers to bite the bullet - like a school resource officer for Midway Middle School.
After a summary by Sheriff Don Martin, Chief Deputy Keith "Bugsy" Moran made a presentation in which he said, "It seems like we have more trouble at Midway Middle than anywhere else."
The chief said Sgt. D. Moody, the SRO at Liberty County High, had removed a loaded 45-caliber pistol from MMS recently. Moran said Moody spent much of his time at Midway, although he was assigned to Liberty.
Moran said he considered an SRO for Midway Middle a high priority, and in helping draw up the budget request he felt, "we have to put this in, and if we have to fight for it later we will."
The Liberty County Board of Education contributes funding for school resource officers and crossing guards, but the sheriff's department did not feel they had a firm commitment for the additional SRO.
The amount of $47,082 was submitted for a fulltime deputy to serve as SRO.
Other public safety requests included an additional fulltime deputy for traffic control and three replacement vehicles and another patrol car for the new deputy.
Another big-ticket item was $13,000 for a Live Scan fingerprint system and accompanying equipment.
Many county departments are requesting replacement or additional computers. Tom Wahl of E-911 asked for $303,000 for five new computers.
E-911 has six communications positions and Wahl is proposing to add two. "Business is unfortunately getting better," Wahl said.
The county's data processing operation is requesting $177,700 for computers, servers and software.
This week was the initial review of budget needs and is the beginning of scrutiny by commissioners and administrators.
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