Earlier this week, Scioto County Sheriff David Thoroughman spoke exclusively to SCDN about the number of road deputies in the county.
As we discussed during his campaign, understaffing of deputies was a concern.
Since taking office, Thoroughman has created two new deputy positions, as well as one position for a Rush Township deputy. Based on the budget allocations, deputy positions are currently full.
Thoroughman repeatedly stated during his campaign that road patrols were allocated based on the population from many years ago. Taking into account the increased population in the county, he has requested 5 additional road deputies.
As part of his efforts to save the county money, the Sheriff has come up with a proposal for how the costs for those deputies would be covered once the female detention center opens up.
A township can hire a dedicated officer to improve response times. A deputy is designated for Porter Township. Washington Township is currently in the process of hiring a new deputy.
The cost is a little over $100k, which pays for everything; the vehicle, uniforms, etc. Townships can even team up and share the cost of a dedicated officer within their area, according to Sheriff Thoroughman. It is a strategy that is widely used throughout Ohio.
At the close of our conversation, Sheriff Thoroughman reminded citizens that there are still some issues with ambulance coverage, at times, within the county.
The Scioto EMA has identified 3 ways to deal with this ambulance shortage. The first is educational. Arriving at the hospital via ambulance does not move you to the front of the line. All patients are assessed based on the severity of their needs.
Secondly, the EMA encourages people who can get a ride to the hospital from a family member or friend to do so.
Last but not least, every township needs volunteers to achieve long-term success. It would be worthwhile to meet with the emergency department of your township and discuss how you might be able to assist them.
Scioto EMA Director, Larry Mullins, told us, that the deployment of many local EMTs, paramedics, and other healthcare workers to other areas for the most part is no longer a major contributor to the ambulance shortage since most of the deployments have ended as the pandemic has waned.
Dr. Barhorst and Chief Lowery both say they are not having any staffing issues. While the situation continues to pose a challenge to the township squads, they are determined to deal with it.