York Co. Sheriff: Lack of deputies puts department, public at risk
YORK COUNTY -- The York County Sheriff says a lack of deputies in his department is putting his employees and the public in danger.
CBS 13 spoke with Sheriff Bill King after one of his deputies was allegedly assaulted over the weekend. King says the suspect, identified as Trevor Cox, was on drugs and hallucinating when he allegedly smashed a window and tried to break into a home in West Newfield Saturday evening.
Sheriff King says a deputy responded and a witness says Cox began assaulting the deputy.
"This man clearly was out of his mind," said Sheriff King.
"The kid apparently was on drugs and the chief told me like super human strength from that. He could not keep him down after tasing him three times. So if there was somebody else with him, it wouldn't have gone on that long and the officer wouldn't have got injured," Maureen Curtin told CBS 13.
The sheriff says according to the suspect's friends, Cox was high on mushrooms. Sheriff King says only after a second deputy got to the scene, were they able to get handcuffs on him.
"The deputy had trouble controlling the man, and his back up going code three, which is lights and siren, took him 10 minutes to get there. So when I say often times we don't have adequate coverage, this is a prime example of it," said Sheriff King.
Right now there are 22 sheriff's deputies and sergeants who patrol hundreds of miles of York County roads. One of those deputies is assigned to Waterboro to cover an area of 55 square miles.
The York County Budget Committee did authorize a new detective, but not more deputies. County Commissioner Marston Lovell says the budget committee must weigh all the county's needs as well as the burden to taxpayers. Sheriff King says he worries about the safety of his deputies and the public.
"If that sheriff (deputy) had had somebody else with him, it wouldn't have happened the way it happened," Curtain said.
Right now there are two future York County Sheriff's Deputies at the Police Academy. But when they come on board, they'll be filling positions that are currently vacant. Sheriff King says that will help. But he says he still desperately needs two or three more full time deputies.