Storey County is blessed to have a solid group of dedicated women and men who work at the Sheriff’s Office. With the upcoming election on June 12th, they felt it was appropriate to chime in on the topic of candidate endorsement. Below find the letter The Storey County Deputy Sheriff’s Association sent to The Teller for publication:
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one deputy told The Teller, “We are pretty much divided about who to support. Many of us support Sheriff Antinoro, but some do not. We felt that because we can’t all unite behind one candidate or another that we would choose to endorse neither candidate.”
While the deputies are divided about who to support in this upcoming election, their support of the community is clear and undivided.
On the subject of the Deputies who wear the badge and patrol our streets, as voters, we should consider how our county has dealt these women and men a low card. In every jurisdiction I have ever been in, one place where budgets don’t scrimp is with public safety. The hard-working women and men of the fire department have their own revenue stream and enjoy a budget twice what the Sheriff’s Office has yet they go on vastly fewer calls. Each provides vital services, but because there seems to be an ax being ground on the Sheriff’s budget from certain elements inside the Courthouse, the Deputies suffer.
In the 2014 budget cycle, the County Commissioners tried to slash the Sheriff’s Office budget massively. The people of Lockwood took the streets, packed the Courthouse, and stood united in their support of the Sheriff’s Office and the Deputies. They demanded that the Commissioners restore the Sheriff’s budget. In the face of this public outrage, the Sheriff’s budget was restored.
The discussion about budgets at the recent candidate forum held on Thursday, May 24th directly affects the day to day lives of the Deputies. The deputies are hamstrung as they work short staffed to provide us the best level of service possible. The impact of TRIC with the added patrols and traffic issues affect our community directly.
Candidate Mike Cullen talked about how he would deploy increased deputy presence to get ahead on the issues at TRIC that he described as “issues that are already ahead of us”. He suggested he would work with the Commissioners and the Comptroller to get additional funds to increase Deputy manpower and add a K9 unit. Sheriff Antinoro put forth a message of financial restraint given the financial woes the county finds itself in.
The budget shortfall of $1.7 million dollars is the direct result of Tesla’s cash crunch. Once the promise of TRIC come to fruition in 2024 when some of the tax abatements expire, perhaps we can get these hard-working women and men the funding they deserve so they can do the job we pay them for more effectively and safely. Sadly, they have to pay the price of the impact of TRIC until that happens
Regardless of who the community chooses to lead the Sheriff’s Office, we are grateful to have the Storey County Deputies and their steadfast dedication to our community.