Sheriff’s department working to reduce overtime

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department says it has changed its overtime policies to reduce costs to the county.

According to a report from Sheriff Chris Lane, the department was able to reduce its overtime expenses by about 5 percent, or a $22,000 savings last year.

The sheriff’s department has three main areas of need that lead to overtime costs: critical incidents, training requirements and staffing shortages. The sheriff said one of the key tools to reducing overtime was an increase to base pay for county jail staff. That helped fully staff the jail, greatly reducing the overtime costs. Lane said he was able to make the pay increases without increasing the overall budget.

Lane said that there are still staffing shortages in the budget for the county deputies in the road division, but a new hiring cycle will begin in March and he hopes to solve that part of the problem.

The sheriff’s department leadership team created a scorecard for costs that it evaluates monthly. The team will then find ways to correct any area that is straying out of the budget parameters.

Lane said that he has made a commitment to run the department more like a business using data for budgetary decisions.