County courthouse to get second deputy

Audrey Caro Gomez

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office is hoping to have another deputy working in the Linn County Courthouse by next spring, after the Linn County Board of Commissioners approved a transfer of funds on Sept. 7.

“The Board gave me authorization to add the funds to the sheriff’s civil budget so they could expend those funds for a civil deputy, and I have created the budget for that,” said County Treasurer Michelle Hawkins. “The funds will be moved when the Sheriff has hired a deputy for this position and he is working on that.”

Hawkins built $110,000 appropriation into the budget to accommodate a new civil deputy.

One deputy, paid through the general fund, is assigned to the court already. When hired, the other deputy will be paid from the court security fund.

Previously, two deputies were assigned to the courthouse.

When funding was cut in 2012, 13 deputies were laid off, Riley said.

Because the funding for court security was reduced, money was used for equipment, such as cameras, Riley said.

“That money has come back slowly through funds and court fees,” Riley said. “The courthouse Security Committee decided to recommend a full-time deputy.”

Usually Riley moves a deputy from patrol to civil.

“We’re not interested in contracting services out,” he said. “Renting unarmed security guards doesn’t provide the function we need.”

Committee members want a certified police officer. Having unarmed security doesn’t serve the needs of the courthouse, he added.

Training takes time, though.

It takes months after hiring to get a deputy in place, and it will take some time after that before Riley moves a patrol deputy to the courthouse.

“I want to make sure this is a person that’s got some experience,” Riley said.

LCSO has two new patrol deputies, who graduated from the 16-week Department of Public Safety Standards and Training earlier this month.

Riley has “a couple more in the hopper,” he said.

LCSO is still looking for more, though.

“Currently there are six open positions and a couple of people (nearing) retirement,” Riley said.

To learn more about or apply for a position with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, visit