LONOKE COUNTY, Ark. — A law enforcement agency in central Arkansas is feeling the pain from COVID-19.
Lonoke County Sheriff, John Staley, says the department is severely underfunded and now he worries he will have to layoff employees.
“The bucket is empty. There is a little here and I can’t keep being spread out. You can only spread it so far,” said Staley.
In 2018, Staley proposed a sales tax that would help fund his office—it never got passed. He says this issue paired with the financial strain of COVID, will cause department-wide layoffs.
“We are looking at having to cut people because we don’t have the funding. It’s horrible, it’s our family.” Staley said.
In addition to deputy layoffs, he says the department will also have to part with their K-9 unit.
“To work those dogs you’ve got to pay the handlers and they get so much for taking care of those dogs, we’re going to have to cut that,” said Staley.
Staley is now proposing another one-cent sales tax, aiming to change the future of the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office.
“When you say cut the fat, we don’t have any fat. We’ve never had the extra. We just need some help,” said Staley.
The Sheriff plans to address the quorum court with hopes they put the sales tax back on the ballot.