In the ongoing financial crisis in Ashtabula County, the Sheriff’s Department has been cut from 112 to 49 deputies. With deputies assigned to transport prisoners, serve warrants and other duties, only one patrol car is assigned to patrrol the entire county of 720 square miles.
“I did the best with what they (the county commissioners) gave me. If it wasn’t enough, don’t blame me, don’t blame this department,” said Sheriff Billy Johnson.
Johnson said he is suing the commissioners to get a determination of whether he should use his limited budget to carry out obligations defined by law or put more patrol cars on the streets.
“I just can’t do it anymore,” he said. “I have to have the court explain to the commissioners and to me what my statutory duties are.”
The Ashtabula County Jail has confined as many as 140 prisoners. It now houses only 30 because of reductions in the staff of corrections officers.
All told, 700 accused criminals are on a waiting list to serve time in the jail.
Are there dangerous people free among the 700 who cannot be locked up?...Continue ReadingLeave a Comment