Sheriff in Heated Meeting With County Leaders

8-23-04 - A budget dispute in Cooke County is putting the safety of residents at stake, according to Sheriff Mike Compton. Today, during a heated budget workshop, county commissioners rejected his proposed budget for the 7th straight year.

They claim the money for more deputies and squad cars isn’t there, but Sheriff Compton says the county is sitting on a $2 million surplus.

But County Judge Bill Freeman says that surplus is there for a reason - its helped them secure a low interest rate on a new $10.5 million jail to be completed next year. He also says it will keep the county afloat in case of a major emergency. That money will also help cover the new jail’s increased staffing.

But Sheriff Compton says it’s a matter of safety – with his current budget, he can only afford to have two deputies on patrol at times, making it hard for them to get to the scene of the crime fast enough.

The county's new budget now awaits final approval from commissioners. That will likely come at a special called meeting on September 3rd.