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Much of the discussion in today's county budget hearings centered on Law Enforcement issues.
The DPS Highway Patrol sent a State Trooper to ask the commissioners court to reinstate a clerical position the county has traditionally staffed at the Collin County DPS station.
The DPS trooper explained that in 2006, the clerk entered 13,489 ticket into the county's court system resulting in over $1.5 million in fine revenue to Collin County. He argued that clerk freed the officers from spending time on paperwork resulting in more time on patrol...and more ticket revenue. Commissioners Jaynes, Hatchell and Cole agreed, and the request was approved. Judge Self and Commissioner Hoagland voted against the funding.
The Commissioners voted 4-1 to add 6 jail detention officers to the county jail. The sheriff's office explained that the jail would be adding an additional 74 beds in 2008 and the staffing was needed to handle the increased prisoner load. Commissioner Hoagland again voted "no".
The court also approved adding 2 prosecutors to the DA's office to handle white-collar crime. In another 4-1 vote, only Commissioner Hoagland (Dr. No) voted against the funding.
Deputy Tim Oglivy, the president of the Collin County Deputy Sheriffs Association, testified that while the county has been telling the public that employees were getting a 5% raise, many deputies would only receive a 1% pay increase, because their salaries were "topped out" after 5 years.
Hoagland responded that only those who were on the county's "pay for performance" (PFP) program would see the 5% increase. His statement sparked an exchange with Sheriff Terry Box, who told the court that while all his non-sworn employees would be on the PFP program, he had concerns about the suitability of setting PFP measures on peace officers. Box stated that the law does not allow for any type of quota systems for officers, and that he has been unable to find any successful PFP program in a US law enforcement agency.
Commissioner Hoagland retorted that industry uses PFP, that the county was committed to basing salary increases on performance, not on longevity, and that if any employee was not on PFP that employee would not get another salary increase.
(It might be a good idea for Jerry Hoagland to carefully observe the speed limit for a while.)
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