Pike County may lay off deputies - KMOV.com

Pike County may lay off deputies

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(KMOV.com) – The Pike County sheriff says he may have to let some deputies go due to budget cuts.

The sheriff’s department is looking at a possible cut-back of several hundred thousand dollars.

“The Pike County sheriff says some tough decisions may have to be made before the end of the year when it comes to funding,” said Dale Riffle who lives in rural Pike County. “Some of those decisions may include laying off deputies, but if anything happens out my way, I’ll take care of it.”

Riffle says fewer deputies on patrol won’t affect him very much, however he does say he would like to see more of a focus on drugs in the area, but that won’t happen if there are cuts.

Sheriff Stephen Korte says his department has been proactive in drug enforcement for the past six years. “I’m not a criminal justice wizard, but it doesn’t take a lot to realize we’re arresting more people for felony and misdemeanor drugs,” he said. “And we’re seeing a decrease in property crimes.”

Pike County has 11 deputies to cover its 670 square miles, only half of the recommended number, according to Korte. Deputies in rural counties must often do it alone. Last week in neighboring Lincoln County, a deputy had to break up a suspected middle-of-the-night drug deal between two men and was almost run over and forced to use a stun gun on a suspect.

“Sometimes it’s really quiet and some nights it gets really precarious,” Korte said.

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