What one gets, everyone else wants.
Emboldened by the success of their colleague, Prosecutor Steve Tucker, several Spokane County department heads asked county commissioners Tuesday for additional staffing.
Public Defender John Rogers, Counsel for Defense Director Dick Sanger and Juvenile Services Director Bonnie Bush all said they had more work than their employees could accomplish and asked commissioners for consideration in the coming weeks.
“I knew as soon as Tucker walked through that door everybody would line up,” said Commissioner Phil Harris.
Tucker recently asked the commissioners for 11 new employees and was preliminarily granted three attorneys.
“Whenever the prosecutor gets a few new lawyers or there are more police officers on the street, it does have a very tangible effect on public defense,” said Sanger.
“I think everyone on this board is aware of the domino effect,” Harris said.
The Counsel for Defense handles cases when representing multiple defendants in one crime could create a conflict of interest for the Public Defender.
Rogers and Sanger didn’t specify how many employees they would need, but were satisfied Tuesday with the commissioners’ promise to sit down with all criminal justice department heads in the coming weeks to decide where additional resources are most needed.
Bush told commissioners her office needs three probation officers and two corrections officers at an annual cost of almost $310,000.
She also asked for $4,500 more this year for prescriptions for youth in detention, $1,500 more for volunteer support and $11,000 to install a building security card reader system.
Commissioners granted the department two probation officers and one corrections officer as well as the prescription and security funding.
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