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Henrietta city leaders look at discrepancy in law enforcement coverage

The City of Henrietta looks to see if the the Clay County Sheriff's Office has shortchanged their contracted law enforcement coverage.

Henrietta city leaders met on Monday to discuss law enforcement protection and whether the city is receiving what it pays for.

The Henrietta City Council was able to clear some discrepancies in whether the city was being shortchanged in the number of hours the Clay County Sheriff's Office is suppose to provide law enforcement coverage.

A contract signed by the City of Henrietta and Clay County in 1989 requires a deputy be posted inside the city limits 24 hours a day, seven days a week at a cost of $300,000 a year.

Henrietta City Administrator Kelley Bloodworth says a recent audit report showed deputies' shifts were not accurately reported.

Sheriff Kenny Lemons says the whole issue is due to a clerical error in the reporting of the shifts.

Lemons says his office conducted an investigation and found out the coverage report flawed proper documentation.

Bloodworth says Lemons provided them with a new report that shows the city has protection 24/7.

Lemons says, "Since hearing the information, we immediately went through the information, we immediately went through the records and found the discrepancy ourselves."

"And since then we have accurately reported all the hours to the city and changed the report in such a way that it will document who is filling in for these full-time employees," Lemons says.

Bloodworth says a new report filed by Sheriff Lemons shows there was adequate protection as far as 24/7 coverage but there are still there are still some discrepancies as far as relief of the hired deputies is concerned.

"The reports that are submitted from the sheriff's office go to the county treasurer's office and that's how we are billed every quarter," Bloodworth says. "We pay for actual relief when one of the city deputies takes a comp time, sick time, vacation or is off for schooling and some of those numbers don't add up."

Bloodworth says city leaders will schedule a meeting with the county judge and one or two of the commissioners to look over the law enforcement contract to make sure they are being billed correctly.

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