Montague County Sheriff's Office Deals With a Tight Budget

Montague County Commissioners are stretching dollars to help keep deputies on the streets. The Montague County Sheriff said deputies are looking to leave for higher pay and he is doing everything he can to keep his staff filled.

Sheriff Paul Cunningham says losing some of his best deputies would be a terrible thing for his department and the citizens. The sheriff told Newschannel 6 one deputy with 30 years experience almost left last week, and the reason is money.

Budget cuts are essential for counties to survive in this economy, but it is never easy. The Montague County Sheriff's Office is struggling to stay fully staffed. Everyone of their six deputies is needed to cover ground and keep citizens safe.

Lissa Gregg a Montague County resident says, "If I have to call 911 even though I'm close to Bowie, Montague has to respond and they are cut short as it is. If they lose any more deputies it could be life threatening."

Sheriff Cunningham knows how important keeping deputies is. That is why he went to commissioners on Monday and asked for a solution to keep deputies from leaving. He even asked to add 3 more to his staff.

While commissioners say they could not approve extra hires, they did manage to approve salary raises to help the sheriff keep his current deputies in Montague County.

Keeping a staff of six deputes is a relief for residents who rely on the Montague Sheriff's  Deputies to stay safe.

Lissa Gregg comments, "They are already cut down on response time. I'm glad they are offering them something more so they can survive and take care of their families."

Sheriff Cunningham mentioned that Montague Commissioners have been very supportive and are working hard to do what is best for their employees and the citizens. He also said  his staff covers 938 square miles of the county and will also assist the Bowie, Nocona, or St. Joe Police Departments when needed.

Sheriff Cunningham said although he was not approved for any new deputies for this coming fiscal year, he will not give up and try again in the future.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6