TUNICA COUNTY, Miss. — The Tunica County Sheriff’s Office has officially reorganized after budget cuts forced them to let go of 15 employees.
The positions that were terminated included five administrative and reception positions, two part-time communication officers, five deputy sheriffs and three jailers. Five additional positions were reassigned.
This all comes after the sheriff asked for an $8.2 to $8.3 million budget but only received $7.2 million from the local board of supervisors.
To accommodate the changes, shifts will reportedly be changed from eight to 12 hours. There will also no longer be a 24-hour receptionist and the department will not be able to purchase any new vehicles. That’s bad news for a department that has already taken 18 patrol vehicles off the streets due to maintenance and safety issues.
Chief Deputy Randy Stewart told WREG that losing five deputies will definitely impact response time.
“I just wish really the board would reconsider what they’re doing and put public safety first,” Stewart said.
Right now there are 18 vehicles that are not driveable because of maintenance and safety issues.
Syvester Young lives in the Tunica County town of Dundee. He says it already takes a long time for deputies to respond to his part of the county.
“We need our officers,” he said. “We need them. We need them bad.”
The Tunica County sheriff blames county government and the board of supervisors for not properly funding the sheriff’s office.
One resident we talked with thinks elected officials should make things right and not cause deputies to lose their jobs
“Maybe they need to see what they’re spending in other areas of the county and divert some of those funds over,” Woody Arnett said.