Jackson County sheriff's inventory coming to an end, some vehicles to be sold or donated [The Sun Herald :: ]
(Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 22--PASCAGOULA -- An inventory that has been called an all-out accounting of items and equipment in the Jackson County Sheriff's Office is coming to an end, Sheriff Charles Britt said Friday.
Britt reported that the sheriff's department was "about 80 percent completed with an inventory of about 4,000 items, including vehicles, firearms, boats, ATVs and other assets.
"We originally thought the inventory would be completed by the end of February, but when you get into accounting for this many items, it just takes time," Britt said. "Right now, we are more concerned with the accuracy of the inventory over the speed of the process."
Several vehicles parked behind the department's motor pool will eventually be auctioned or donated, said department spokeswoman Cherie Ward.
Sheriff's deputies are working with the county's inventory control manager in conducting the inventory.
Each individual employee has been inventoried and the large, heavy-duty equipment is completed, Britt said.
The department's in-house office equipment, such as computers, printer, scanners and other assets as well as the items located at the Narcotics Division, are the last items slated to be inventoried. In-house office equipment has traditionally been recorded and kept on the county's ledger.
Early on in the inventory, information emerged that there may be an excess of specialty vehicles, such as the Ford F-250 or F-350 pickups dealerships said cost $60,000 to $65,000.
County supervisors said they insisted on the inventory and Britt said it was just common sense when you take over to find out what equipment you have.
Britt said he's already made some changes, such as no longer allowing his spokeswoman or secretary to take home a vehicle. Instead, he said, they are using a fleet vehicle during the day if they need to go out on business.
Britt said he plans additional changes in vehicle assignments in the criminal investigations division and other departments. "We are going to try to eliminate the heavy-duty vehicles and go to something more economical and efficient."
Under former sheriff Mike Byrd, the vehicles were separate from county rules on vehicle use.
Byrd's spending on vehicles and maintenance costs was an issue in the last sheriff's race. When he left office in December, Byrd had at least four unmarked vehicles assigned to himself, including a large pickup, a Dodge Durango and a Dodge Charger.
Byrd over the years had a great of deal of freedom in the way he spent his budget, county officials said, though the Board of Supervisors approved the amount and use of the money. Supervisors have said they tried to question Byrd about his spending, but said he always had "justifiable reasons for the spending."
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