County questions sheriff’s office administrative code

Vague policies and procedures could mean your tax dollars are being wasted. That’s the concern Marshall County leaders say they have about the sheriff’s office.

The county adapted its own administrative code this year, then asked their department heads to do the same: to submit the code they use or adopt the county’s.

The county is concerned the sheriff’s department policies aren’t specific enough. Deputy Judge Executive Brad Warning says the county sent a letter to the sheriff outlining 11 points it has issue with, including how overtime is calculated, policies governing travel, and how paid time off is calculated

Warning says those problems open the county, and taxpayers, to potential problems. Warning says: “At the end of the day, these are county employees. So, when we look at policies, and procedures, and labor laws, things like that, it’s all going to fall back to the fiscal court. Yeah, he’s an elected official, but they’re all county employees.”

Sheriff Kevin Byars responded, saying the department is in the process of updating its policies and procedures, and wants to apply for accreditation through the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police. Byars says he’s discussing those 11 points with the fiscal court, but doesn’t believe you have anything to worry about.    

Byars says: “I feel like we are a very fair sheriff’s office in how we deal with the public, our employees, and I don’t think there’s any concern there at all.” He says the department has modeled its code after the Kentucky Association of Counties, and he’s assigned a team dedicated to reviewing and revising the code.

The sheriff says after his code is completed, he plans to review it with employees and review a policy each month.

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