By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — The Belknap County Commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved increasing the fees charged by the Belknap County Sheriff's Department to $60 per hour for outside detail services.
Currently the department charges $55 an hour for outside detail services, such as those provided at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford during concerts or for communities like Barnstead, which have requested the outside details due to a shortage of police officers,
Commissioner Richard Burchell (R-Gilmanton) said that he thought the increase is a good idea.
"We should be competitive," he said, after Commissioner Hunter Taylor (R-Alton) moved to increase the fee by $5 per day to bring it up to the market rate.
County Administrator Debra Shackett explained that it costs about $54.20 to provide the outside detail service and that an additional $25 per hour is billed if a department vehicle is required for the outside detail.
Last week, the Executive Committee of the Belknap County Delegation approved the transfer of $10,000 within the Sheriff's Department budget to pay for unanticipated outside detail expenses.
Two weeks ago, Sheriff Craig Wiggin told commissioners that there wasn't enough money in his budget to cover the outside detail expenses and that he planned to propose an increase in next year's budget to cover outside detail expenses, which were budgeted at $25,000 in the current year.
He said money is coming in to the department as a result of the outside details but it couldn't be directly used to pay deputies for their work on the details. The money must first go to the general fund, then is used for detail pay. The $10,000 which was transferred came from the department's budget line for part-time dispatchers, positions which Wiggin said the department hasn't been able to fill.
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