Republican candidate Steve Nowlin believes increased spending on training is needed within the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office.
A third in a series on various campaign issues, The Cortez Journal most recently asked Nowlin and write-in candidate Mike Steele to weigh in on public finances and budgetary decisions. For the third consecutive time, Steele again declined to participate.
“Continued education and training on a monthly basis for all sheriff’s office employees in each division, including civilian, increases the ability to provide improved public service, efficiency, realized potential and most importantly, reduction in civil and criminal lawsuits,” said Nowlin.
After analyzing the last four annual budgets of the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, Nowlin said he would mandate additional training on “important” and “high liability” areas such as firearms, use of force, detentions and search and seizures. Despite a call to increase spending by as much as 15 percent on training, Nowlin said utilizing local resources more effectively and eliminating unnecessary items could lower the projection.
“The reduction of expenses is easily achievable,” he said.
To cut fuel and vehicle expenses, for example, Nowlin said he would improve patrol and community policing practices and procedures. He added storing vehicles when not needed could also trim costs while increasing fleet longevity.
“Good business practices when it comes to budgeting will ensure that you never under budget necessary and appropriate spending,” said Nowlin.
According to his analysis, Nowlin was concerned that overtime funding had decreased, forcing employees to bank or add overtime hours as compensatory time. Without a cap or appropriate agency policy, the practice could become unmanageable and create problems, he said.
In regard to LEA funds, Nowlin said they were intended to employ and equip five full-time certified patrol deputies for unincorporated areas as well as improve wages and benefits for other deputies. To be a good steward of taxes requires professional and responsible line item budgeting based on experience and long-range foresight of services and goals, said Nowlin.
“A no waste of precious tax payer dollars attitude will produce an efficient, effective and balanced budget each year,” he said.
During his 37 years as a professional peace officer, Nowlin said he received the training, experience and responsibility of preparing and managing public finances.
“I know what it takes to manage a professional Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office,” said Nowlin. “I will provide the leadership strategies to improve public service and trust while being fiscally responsible in making our tax dollars produce what is necessary and expected.”