Randolph County Sheriff’s Office needs deputies, K-9s, other resources

ASHEBORO, N.C. -- The Randolph County Sheriff's Office is facing a need for manpower and resources.

Sheriff Greg Seabolt says funding is keeping his team from giving people in the county the best protection possible.

There's a shortage in the county justice system.

"We're 41 positions short at the jail," Seabolt said. "We have one detention officer looking over 68 inmates, which is not a safe move at all."

He says it's those kind of rations that compromise safety.

But it's not just at the jail, the shortage extends to patrol units.

"We've got an 805-square-mile county," Seabolt said. "On any given day we may have eight officers covering that territory. That's a lot of distance to cover."

There's also the issue of increased calls.

"Since taking office in December, I think communications have seen an increase of 24-25 percent," he said.

He believes the department needs more help in the form of deputies, K-9s and other resources.

These changes, the sheriff says, are long overdue.

"We're short in every division. There's not been any added positions, significantly, to any division in years," he said.

The list is lengthy, detailing the need for a bomb sniffing dog, a body scanner and another student resource officer for the school system.

There's nearly $3 million needed to get the department up to par.

"If the county commissioners say no, which I don't think they will, we're going to continue with doing what we do," Seabolt said.

The sheriff's office is already being proactive, and is in the process of setting up a 501(c)(3) to get tax deductible donations to help them get the equipment they need.

They may turn to the public for further assistance.

"We may seek volunteers to work at the front entrance of the detention center," he said. "We're going to find a way to do it, regardless."

They'll continue to protect and serve, but will remain hopeful they can do so without any more risks to the safety of the county's citizens.

"We'll have the resources that a lot of other sheriff's offices have across the state at our fingertips," he said. "And then we can go out and do the job we need to do in a more effective and proactive way."

It will be May or June before the commissioners decide whether or not the department will get some or all of the money.

The county manager's office told FOX8 that they have not yet reviewed the proposal.

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