Letcher County will have deputies on the road in the evenings again within the next two weeks, Sheriff Mickey Stines said.
Stines had borrowed $11,621 from the Letcher County Fiscal Court at the beginning of his term in order to make payroll and expenses until taxes came in. He said Tuesday that while he repaid that money Monday night, he’s asking for it back now to buy two police cars for the new deputies.
The sheriff ’s department has been operating with one deputy since Stines took office because of a delay in state mineral tax bills being sent from the state Department of Revenue, and the fact that new sheriffs must start their departments with a zero balance in their accounts. Stines said Tuesday that he has enough money coming in to hire deputies now, but still has to buy cars and train them.
Stines said the new deputies are James Norris, a Harlan County native who lives in Whitesburg, and Seth Whitaker of Haymond. Neither have any law enforcement experience, but Stines said they have to complete academy training within a year.
Until then, he said, one will work with him from noon to 8 p.m., and the other will work with Deputy Josh Pease from 4 p.m. to midnight, providing at least two officers on the road throughout the evening.
“I hope to be able to work them through the summer when things are so busy, and send them to academy in the winter,” Stines said.
Stines has also hired two new part-time bailiffs for District and Circuit Courts, Corey Harris and Keith Smith.
According to 90-day statistics provided this week by the sheriff ’s department, it has executed 16 Casey’s Law petitions, which place persons in drug rehab without their consent; 18 emergency protective orders and domestic violence orders, 42 criminal summonses; 9 involuntary hospitalizations (mental petitions); 273 civil papers; issued 19 citations; served 516 warrants; and transported 38 prisoners.