Henry County Sheriff Request for Additional Deputy in Limbo for the Supervisors

The Henry County Sheriff, Rich McNamee, met with the Henry County Supervisors on Tuesday morning to discuss his department’s budget. More specifically, he requested the addition of a 14th deputy.

Going back to January, Sheriff McNamee mentioned how he had cut his department’s budget over 4 times what the supervisors had asked. Even still, his request was denied at that time. McNamee told the board that he needs a 14th deputy so that the schools in our region can have a school resource officer if they request one.

The New London Community School district currently employs deputy Lopez on a part time basis, in which they cover part of his salary. Due to the overwhelming success of the school resource officer, New London schools have approved taking Deputy Lopez as a full-time resource officer next year. Winfield-Mt. Union would like a part time SRO for the coming school year as well.

According to McNamee, the benefits of an SRO speak for themselves. The call volume from the school in New London are now a third of what they were in September 2023. The SRO also provides training for students and staff alike. One way to fund a School Resource Officer would be through the Cops Fast grant. This would see 100% reimbursement of that deputies salary in the first year, 75% the following, and a 25% decrease each year after.

With budget cuts coming to the county, Sheriff McNamee told the room that we cannot sacrifice our students to save a penny. He brought up the Perry school shooting which occurred in January.

His request for an additional deputy was not approved nor denied on Tuesday’s meeting, but rather pushed to next Tuesday at 10:15am. The supervisors would like to speak with the legislators to garner more information before they make a decision.