The mission statement for the Financial Division of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is to ensure that taxpayer’s funding is maximized in the most efficient and effective manner to provide the very best of resources to the agency in their efforts to provide a safe environment for the citizens of the county.
The Financial Division duties are implemented by the Financial Manager who reports to the Director of Administration for the Sheriff. The Financial Manager is responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of the Sheriff’s Office budget. In addition to budgeting functions, the Financial Manager assists as needed in grant reporting, grant submission and occasional assistance in the preparation of resolutions which go before the Hamilton County Commission.
The Sheriff’s Office is required to submit a proposed budget to the Hamilton County Commission on an annual basis. Steps included in this process consist of gathering requests from each division within the Sheriff’s Office, ranging from newly requested positions to ongoing operating expenses. Once this list is reviewed and approved by the Sheriff’s Administration, it is compiled to be presented to the Commission for approval.
In addition to the expenditure budget mentioned above, the Sheriff’s Office must also submit an equal or balanced proposed revenue budget as well. The bulk of the proposed revenue budget consists of funding provided from the taxpayers of Hamilton County, with smaller amounts from State and Federal agencies, fees earned from the general public via the court system, as well as services provided to other municipalities.
After the Commission has reviewed the budget submission from all county departments, an approved and recommended budget is sent back to the Sheriff’s Office. For Fiscal Year 2017, which began at July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2017, an approved budget of $33.5M was approved by the Commission. However, not included in the expenditure budget would be any grants which may be rolled over from prior years or any grants which may be awarded during the fiscal year from state and federal agencies which are budgeted accordingly.
In analyzing the expenditure budget of $33.5M, components of expenditures considering just payroll and operations results in payroll costs coming in at $28.5M or 85%, with operating expenses making of the balance at $5M or 15%. However, one may also analyze the $33.5M budget by division of the Sheriff’s Office in which case the largest division was the Jail which was allocated $12.5M or 37%, while the Patrol division was the second largest division coming in at $8.7M or 27%. All other divisions made up the balance coming in at $12.3M or 36%.
As a footnote, and not included in the figures above, the Sheriff’s Office also receives an allocation for capital outlays from the Commission as well. For Fiscal Year 2017, the Commission amount awarded was for $1.3M, with the bulk being earmarked for Law Enforcement Equipment along with Computer Hardware and Software. The Sheriff’s Office also has two smaller self-operating funds for which they are responsible:
- Confiscated Fund which are forfeited funds that have been awarded by Federal and State courts.
- Sexual Offender Fund which are used for purposes of tracking local convicted sex offenders.
Special projects for which the Financial Manager has been involved would be assisting the Chairman of Hamilton County Government in their annual drive for fundraising for United Way. Over the past two years the Sheriff’s Office, among an approximate forty employees, have raised $5K each year in pledged payroll deductions which represents an estimated 5% of the Hamilton County’s $100K annual contribution. Long term goals for the division would be to the participation in a career pay plan for Sheriff’s Office employees and volunteering for various projects as the Sheriff’s Office has need.
Ron BernardDirector of Finance & Information Systems
600 Market Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402