Asotin Co. Sheriff’s Office went over the budget for overtime hours.

Asotin Co. Sheriff’s Office went over the budget for overtime hours. »Play Video
Jail staff and deputies work overtime to compensate for lack of workers.
CLARKSTON, WA - In the coming weeks, the Asotin County Commission will review all the figures for every department under their jurisdiction.

KLEW News learns more about the upcoming budget review and why one department is already looking forward to next year.

It's only September, and already the Asotin County Sheriff's Department is $35,000 over for their overtime budget.

"Expended all of our overtime funding that's been budgeted for this year both out on patrol and in the jail," said Asotin County Sheriff Ken Bancroft. "We almost lasted six months but not quite."

It's a tough battle the sheriff said he faces. The jail and the deputies in his office are often working overtime to compensate for the lack of workers.

"We're happy to do it," said Bancroft. "But it's detracting from our jobs and puts us behind."

Commissioner Brian Shinn said the county has been on a hiring freeze since before he joined the commission. Requiring every department head to get permission from the commission before they can hire anyone.

"We made some hard cuts last year," said Shinn. "The sheriff was very cooperative last year in how he structured his departments. We count on him to do the same thing this year."

Shinn said Bancroft has the ability to ask the commission for another deputy to put on the streets instead of working his current staff more hours than they should. However Bancroft said past commissions have denied this time and again.

"Since it's time-and-a-half, it costs more than regular wages," said Bancroft.

In the coming weeks, Bancroft and other department heads are presenting their 2014 budgets to the commission.

"Right now it doesn't look like there's any more money to be spent in that area," said Bancroft. "And with his management ability and the amount of money he has left in the fund I'm sure he'll find a way to get everything covered."

All commission meetings take place on Monday. The budget reviews are open to the public.