Harrison County Sheriff wants commission to reallocate funding
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Last month 5 news told you about a battle over the Harrison County Sheriff’s budget.
5′s John Blashke explains where it stands now and its possible direction.
The 2022-2023 budget has left Harrison County Sheriff Robert Matheny in a pickle.
Matheny says, as it stand now, his agency does not have the realistic funds to continue their body camera and taser program.
Matheny had asked for $300-thousand but the budget only includes $7,000 and it looks like it’s going to stay that way, at least for a while.
Harrison County Commission President Susan Thomas says the budget can’t be changed until July.
“At this time no changes can be made to our budget -- nothing will happen tomorrow concerning our budget,” Thomas said. “Any revisions changes to the budget cannot be done until after July.”
Even if the budget is changed down the road, it may not happen soon enough.
July 1st is the day the sheriff must renew the body camera lease and the $7000 they currently have will not cover that.
The commission did approve $250-thousand for new sheriff department cruisers, but Sheriff Matheny says the priority needs to be readjusted and the money moved around.
“With these monies that I’ve identified in the budget that can be moved and utilized otherwise, I think we can make the law enforcement budget whole or close to whole, and use money that’s already been earmarked for law enforcement,” said Matheny.
Matheny says instead of leasing 12 police cruisers like the commission said he wants to buy four outright.
The other money can then be used to keep their body cameras and tasers, as well as help their investigative department.
Matheny says he’s responding with a letter for possible legal avenues to move the process along.
“So I’m just hoping that this is something that we can reasonably and quickly work out,” Matheny said.
Meanwhile, Thomas says she thinks the situation is in a good place.
Reporting in Clarksburg, John Blashke 5 news.
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