LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For months Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches has been campaigning for support on an increased budget.
With a little more than three months until the 2018 budget is voted on, Sanches is coming out about his increased budget proposal. For 2018, the sheriff's department and jail is asking for a $9,837,201 budget. The budget would bring on 6 new deputies. One deputy would be added to each shift. One deputy would be added to the drug and gang enforcement division and one deputy would be added to the south end patrol. The budget is also asking for four new patrol units. The 2018 budget would increase on the 2017 budget by $1.25 million
"This county is way, way behind," Sanches said. "It's been 21 years without an increase. Since 2012, we have seen an increase in call volume by 54% since 2012."
Sanches said the increase may look big but running a jail and a sheriff department is not cheap when it comes to funding.
"This is a big operation," Sanches said. "It is a business. We have a lot of mandates that are put on us by the state that we have to comply with."
Over the past several months, Sanches said several big cases have pushed manpower to the limit and just in the past 24 hours over 40 calls were answered and Sanches said there were only a handful of deputies available.
"I'm really upset about this," Sanches said. "We are better than that."
Angelina County Judge Wes Suiter said he would not be discussing any of the sheriff's budget concerns until the public workshop period. Suiter said that he had 32 departments to fund by state mandate and many of those are also asking for increases. Suiter also pointed out that preliminary numbers from the appraisal district show the county losing $382 million is appraised property value.
Still this Sheriff says his fight for more protection is not going away.
"What kind of leader would I be if I sit here and let our deputies have no help out there and what kind of leader would I be to leave the people unprotected," Sanches said.