Shelby County deputies affected by rising fuel costs

Rising fuel costs are forcing Shelby County's sheriff to make some tough decisions.
Sheriff Chris Curry estimates that he'll be spending nearly $230,000 more for fuel in the coming months.

Rising gas prices and a tight budget will soon change the way deputies do their job.

Sheriff Curry said, "I can't find money out of the sky. So my only choice is to have a plan that will keep us under budget."

To reduce fuel consumption among his fleet of vehicles, units will soon be parked.

This means administrators who transport prisoners will limit the number of county to county transports.

Also, investigators and deputies will no longer drive units home. They will drive their personal vehicle to and from work.

Curry said, "It's under policy practice that we call them at home and in ten or fifteen minutes they are dressed in uniform, in the car and go straight to whatever incident there is. It's our ability to provide additional deputies in a minimum amount of time to deal with any crisis. That will go away."

This will not only affect response time, but deputies will also be less visible in the county.

It's a situation that worries Shelby County citizens. Charles Fant said, "Those guys you hate to see them when you run a stop light, but you love to see them when you got trouble. So I hope they get it worked out."

Curry hopes the county government will dip into it's reserve fund to help.
Unless gas prices go down or funds are allocated to the sheriff's office, citizens can expect those changes to start happening next month.  

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