Proposition Safe and Secure

Lincoln County Commissioners Proposal Safe and Secure:  Safe and Secure Ballot Language April 2017

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Staffing Analysis:  SHERIFF’S PATROL STAFFING ANALYSIS

Proposed Building

This week, the Lincoln County Commissioners submitted an infrastructure tax proposal, Safe and Secure to the April 2017 ballot. The complete document has been posted on our Sheriff’s Department web-site, for the public’s viewing ( This proposal is for a 1/2 of one cent sales tax, is fair in which “everyone” contributes and not just county property owners.

Based on today’s figures, if this proposal is passed the average cost per-person is estimated to be approximately $2.49 per-month (based on national indexes of 25% spending of income that sales tax would be generated on – not including vehicles and homes), which is barely noticeable. This is based on a population of 55,000 for Lincoln County. The estimated amount of the Safe and Secure sales tax would generate annually would be about $2,300,000. This calculates to approximately 40% of these monies be generated from other individuals not residing in Lincoln County but still making use of our public services.

Safe and Secure sales tax is very fair tax in which “all individuals” residents and visitors, would be paying for services of the Sheriff’s Office. This is also a very minimal tax, which would hardly be noticeable to individuals from all financial backgrounds.

Briefly stated below is a summary of what this small amount will do for your Sheriff’s Department and this community:

  1. Pay for a new Sheriff’s Office and future emergency communications center
  2. Pay for a new jail and offices
  3. Enable us to have a federally compliant jail to the 2015 Federal Immigration Standards, along with more correctional officers
  4. Expand our Justice and pay for an Emergency Communications Center
  5. Add to the local economy and job market
  6. Pays for future facility costs from the Sheriff’s Office budget freeing up money to hire more law enforcement officers on the streets

In addition to improving law enforcement infrastructure, if this sales tax proposal passes, it will be a boost to our local economy by adding employment opportunities during the construction of the new building, along with generating additional revenues to local businesses supporting the construction. Also, monies derived from this sales tax will allow for the estimated hiring of 15-20 individuals to fill the positions allowed by this proposal.

Proposition Safe and Secure is on the April 2017 ballot. County voters will decide if this tax will be implemented.

Facts Supporting a New Lincoln County Jail

  • The Lincoln County Jail is old and dilapidated and does not meet the 2015 Federal Immigration Standards.
  • Retrofitting the Lincoln County Jail is more costly than building a new Jail.
  • In 1996 the Lincoln County Jail housed an average of 40 inmates; today, the Sheriff’s Office houses an average of 196 inmates.
  • Jail expansion forced the needs of the jail to move into areas of the Sheriff’s Office because of overcrowding. Sheriff’s Office now rents office space to effectively operate.
  • Over the past two-years, approximately $150,000 has gown toward repairs and improvements to the jail. Repairs to the current jail will be perpetual, due to its poor condition.
  • The Lincoln County Jail is in need of additional employees to properly management the jail environment.
  • If Safe and Secure passes, the new jail will comply with the 2015 Federal Immigration Standards and add additional bed space, which would allow the housing of more federal inmates. It is estimated, Lincoln County would earn between $3 and $6 million more annually.

Facts Supporting a New Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office

  • Like so many law enforcement agencies, storage of evidence is problematic. Over the past 10-years, the Sheriff’s Office has purchased three large shipping containers to store evidence.   It is estimated that Sheriff’s Office will run out of storage room by the end of 2017.
  • Because of jail expansion and overcrowding, the Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau was forced to lease a commercial space to operate. This is highly inefficient for detectives who must interview victims and suspects within the Sheriff’s Office. In addition, it strains our current budget.
  • Patrol Deputies do not have the same face to face interactions with detectives working offsite to help better solve crimes.
  • The Safe and Secure sales-tax will free up some of the Sheriff’s Office budget allowing for additional road deputies.
  • In 2011, the Sheriff’s Office had four detectives. Today, the Sheriff’s Office has nine detectives.
  • The Sheriff’s Office currently shares office space, sometimes with four employees sharing a single office.
  • In 2015, Sheriff John Cottle returned approximately $200,000 of his budget back to the county. Sheriff John Cottle is a good steward of tax-payer money and is highly considered a fiscal conservative.

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