Montezuma County’s top law-and-order officials made pleas for budget increases to the county commissioners Monday.
Both District Attorney Will Furse and Sheriff Steve Nowlin are seeking additional funds for 2018 to serve a county in which crime is growing along with its population. Furse asked for money to hire a fifth deputy DA at a salary of approximately $50,000. He said his office handles a total of about 2,000 felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile cases a year, and that does not include investigations that don’t result in criminal charges. His total budget request for his office of 15 employees was around $900,000. Furse said that would average to $451/case, an increase of $19 per case over his current budget.
Nowlin is seeking a $176,000 increase in the sheriff’s office budget that would bring it to about $2.6 million. The request includes funds for four additional deputies. Nowlin said he would like to be able to have two deputies on patrol at all times. He also requested an increase of $240,000 in the detention center budget that would bring it up to about $2.5 million. Nowlin said his budget includes money for “what if” contingencies but that any not spent would be returned to the general fund. The commissioners, who are in the process of hearing budget requests from all county departments, made no decisions.
- David Long contributed to this report