WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons has voiced that more deputies in the county are needed to provide adequate safety for residents and prevent deputies from covering large areas of the county on their own.
“Up until we get these new positions we have one deputy that covers 1,100 square miles,” Sheriff Lemons said. “And that’s a lot for one deputy to do with the call volumes that we have nowadays and the crimes on which are being reported. It’s just more and more taxing on our deputies and it’s harder and harder to be able to provide a service that I believe the citizens of this county deserve and request.”
Sheriff Lemons put in a request to county commissioners for a $323,000 budget increase to fund five additional deputies to his team, however, Clay County Commissioners only granted Lemons two of the five additional deputies. When asked if two additional deputies are sufficient enough to cover the area, Clay County Judge Mike Campell says no but it’s what they can afford.
“We recognize there’s a need, there’s no question about it. What happens is we have to balance that against the other needs,” Judge Campbell said. “Once you do that, then you come to a decision based on, here’s what money we have available and this is how we can best spend it.”
While it’s less than he wanted, Sheriff Lemons said you can’t get everything you ask for, but you can work with what you have until next year’s budget is in the works.
“I’m gonna ask for the three deputies that I didn’t get this year because five is the magic number and five I believe will take care of it,” Sheriff Lemons said.
Sheriff Lemons can begin the hiring process for the two new deputies starting after October 1st, when the new budget year takes effect.
If you’re interested in becoming a Clay County deputy, call the office at (940) 538-5611 or visit the website by clicking here.