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Long sheriff defends department spending
Cecil Nobles
Sheriff Cecil Nobles
At a recent meeting, for the upcoming Long County Commissioners budget, the Long County Sheriff’s Department took criticism from both citizens of the county and commissioners over the amount of overtime deputies got last year and the amount budgeted for this year.
However, according to LCSD Sheriff Cecil Nobles, his department has never abused overtime, and the amount that is used is necessary to do the job that they are required to do.
“We are short of staff, but we do what we can with the personnel that we have, the county has grown and crime has increased, and yet we still have about the same size staff that we had ten years ago,” Nobles said.
According to Nobles, an example of just how much the work load has increased, can be attested to the number of cases that have to go to court.
“The cases that go to state and superior court have doubled, also the number of cases that are turned over to our detectives has doubled. People don’t realize it, but we are doing more than we ever have, and our manpower hasn’t increased to where it ought to be for what my department does,” the sheriff said.
According to Nobles, his department has funding for only two deputies to cover the entire county in the evenings and during the day there is only one additional deputy available, and that is the chief deputy.
“Recently, my deputies have been having to go all over the county, checking on all of the burglaries, this takes time, and when a crime happens, we have to get a deputy out to check on it quickly,” Nobles said.
He said part-time deputies cannot cover the shortfall.
“Out part-time deputies do a good job and we use them when we can, but all of them have full-time jobs. So they aren’t available all of the time and most of the time they are at there primary job, when we need them the most,” the sheriff said.
“Our population has increased tremendously and crime is increasing too. We have a job to do. We have to enforce the law and everyone needs to know its going to get worse with the economy like it is, crime is going to continue to go up,” Nobles said.
The sheriff also said that with the growth in the schools, his department has to respond too more school related cases, and crimes involving teenagers.
Nobles said his department is constantly trying to ease the cost to the taxpayers.
“I am constantly doing what I can to get as much federal money as I can, over the last few years, the vast majority of the cost that the county has had to pay, for my department has been operational costs,” Nobles said.
“We were able to get around $370,000 a couple of years ago, and with that money we bought seven new vehicles... The local tax payers didn’t have to pay for them.”

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