New Tax Will Help Hire Additional Deputies

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The votes are in and the El Paso County Sheriff’s office will be able to hire more deputies. Question 1A passed Tuesday night.

Right now on average, there are about eight deputies who patrol the entire area of El Paso County on any given night shift. That is about one Deputy per 250 square miles.

With this new sales tax increase, the Sheriff's Office will be able to add another three deputies to every shift.

Deputy Jason Hess is answering a call about a suspicious person in the area, but instead he found a teenager sitting in a car. The Deputy busted him for reportedly having marijuana.

“It’s about ten to fifteen dollars street value,” Hess said.

Although this is not a dangerous situation, Deputy Hess says with the current staff, there is not enough for adequate back-up.

"There are plenty of occasions where a deputy makes traffic stop and now has two people in the car that are wanted on warrants and there's no one available to assist in the arrests,” Hess explained.

Back in 2006 the Sheriff’s office had to lay off 50 deputies because of budget cuts. While the population has grown in the county, deputies were never added. Now with the new sales tax helping fund the Sheriff’s office, they'll be able to respond faster and even be proactive.

"We'll have more time to patrol and look for people trying to break into houses and cars versus just responding to calls and taking reports, actually out looking for it before it happens,” Hess said.

The El Paso County Undersheriff plans to release more information about how many deputies will be hired and when, later this week.

This new sales tax will cost us about two cents for $10 dollars we spend.