Tag: Jefferson county sheriff

When Is a Cut Not a Cut? JeffCo and Sheriff Disagree

Jefferson County doesn’t see eye-to-eye with its sheriff concerning a recent budget change.

In a release Thursday, Sheriff Mark Pettway said the Jefferson County Commission had frozen 30% of the Sheriff’s Office Budget for fiscal year 2024. Pettway equated the action to “defund(ing) law enforcement.”

The public information officer of Jefferson County responded with its own release that said Pettway misstated the county’s action.
According to the county release, the commission requested a freeze of 30% of all funded existing job vacancies throughout the county system for fiscal 2024.

“As has been well documented throughout multiple industries, including local government, filling positions is challenging,” the county release read. “Tying up public funds by budgeting for positions that you are unlikely to fill within a fiscal year prevents us from using those funds to instead address operational or capital needs. Read more.

Jefferson County Commission Debates Putting Victim Interview Offices in Eastern Birmingham

Efforts to establish a pair of new Jefferson County Sheriff’s offices in eastern Birmingham are at least on hold until law enforcement leaders in the city and county demonstrate they are in agreement on the move.

Commissioner Lashunda Scales broached a discussion about the offices. They were on the Jefferson County Commission committee agenda as “substations,” but the discussion shifted to them being offices of the Sheriff’s Department’s Violent Crime Victim Unit, which now is based in the Sheriff’s office downtown.

Scales told her fellow commissioners that Tony Serra, owner of Serra Automotive Management, had agreed to lease a pair of buildings to the Sheriff’s Office for $1 per year. Read more.

Jefferson County’s New Sheriff Redesigns Star on Badges to Mark Change. Cost, $27,500.

Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway is putting his mark on his department, beginning by changing the star that he and his deputies wear and that is the centerpiece of signs in offices and on the sides of vehicles.

“We went to a 6-pointed star (because) we wanted to make changes throughout the whole department,” Pettway said. “We want to put my mark on everything, so we changed the star from a 5-pointed star to a 6-pointed star.”

Pettway, who unseated 20-year Sheriff Mike Hale in November, has a badge that has his name on the front. Hale’s star also had his name on the star. Changing the star is customary when a new sheriff is elected.

Captain David Agee, the department’s public information officer, said each new badge costs $50. With 550 sworn deputies, that brings the cost to $27,500. “We will have the money to cover it with the adjustments that the sheriff has made to our current budget,” Agee said. “We also have as an alternative a discretionary fund if we need to cover it with it.”

The painting of signs on buildings and vehicles is covered under a preexisting maintenance contract, Agee said.

Jefferson County Deputies Granted 5 Percent Raise, Sheriff Cites Competitive Need

Sworn personnel of the sheriff’s department received a 5 percent cost-of-living raise when the Jefferson County Commission met in Bessemer Thursday.

The raise in the sheriff’s department is on top of the raise given to Jefferson County employees at the beginning of this fiscal year.
Sheriff Mark Pettway said the extra pay is needed to keep his department competitive with nearby law enforcement departments.

“We are losing officers, deputies, daily to surrounding agencies,” he said. “We want to maintain those that we have and bring on good people to work inside the sheriff’s department. Everybody works for money, so we want to make sure that we’re competitive.” Read more.

Jefferson County’s First African-American Sheriff Wants to Boost Diversity

By Sherrel Wheeler Stewart, WBHM

Like a lot of kids, Mark Pettway wanted to be an astronaut when he grew up. But as he got older, things changed. Pettway begins his job as Jefferson County sheriff today. He’s the first African American to hold that post after defeating longtime Republican Sheriff Mike Hale in November. Read more.