Budget requests from Asotin County Sheriff denied by county commissioners

CLARKSTON, WA - Asotin County Commissioners are finished with their budget for the rest of the year, but it doesn't include any of the requests from the sheriff's office.

Requests Sheriff Ken Bancroft said are desperately needed to make sure the public is protected the way it should be.

Carol Zinke reports on why commissioners made their decision without the sheriff's requests.

Asotin County Sheriff Ken Bancroft said the Sheriff's Department is in need of funding because their current budget strains their ability to continue to serve people in Asotin County.

"Do you not want me to make 24-hour patrol coverage in the county?" said Sheriff Bancroft. "What do you suggest I do to answer calls for service when no one is on duty."

Commissioner Brian Shinn said he stands by the decision to not include the sheriff's department in the budget.

"We've given him increased help and increased budgets in certain departments, and we offered to do the same thing again this year, but he didn't want to entertain those ideas," said Shinn.

Shinn said they offered two full time deputies for the sheriff to hire, but sheriff Bancroft turned their offer down.

"I was dismayed that you decided to remove them from the amendment process, rather than denying portions of the request," said Sheriff Bancroft.

Monday afternoon county commissioners and Sheriff Bancroft had a public meeting to figure out how to sustain the department and keep citizens safe.

"There's no question that you could effectively use 4-to-5 new officers," said Shinn. "I don't think anybody denies that."

Commissioners again suggested hiring two new staff members for patrol. Right now, the sheriff is thinking about his options.

The budget the commissioners approved Monday will last until December 31st.