07/28/04 — Eastpointe cuts allocation for Duplin Sheriff's office

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Eastpointe cuts allocation for Duplin Sheriff's office

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on July 28, 2004 1:57 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Eastpointe board has cut the same amount of money out of its allocation to the Duplin sheriff that the county cut from its budget.

The Duplin County commissioners voted 4-2 in June to adopt a budget that cut departments and agencies across the board, including 2 percent taken from Eastpointe's budget.

Commissioners voted to give Eastpointe $122,500, which was $2,500 less than Duplin's original $18,000 share.

A state law requires sheriff's offices to transport people for involuntary commitment.

This puts a strain on the sheriff's departments, and although it's not required, Eastpointe has provided money to help offset some of the costs.

Eastpointe Chairman Oscar Herring said he's concerned that the other three counties might follow suit. "Can we survive these reductions if everybody does the same thing?"

Eastpointe would survive, said St. Clair. There would be some restrictions on activity, and a state law allows counties to make a one-time reduction. He reminded the board that three years ago Duplin-Sampson Mental Health asked its counties to support the purchase of a vocational building in Wallace, and Sampson declined to help.

Eastpointe board member Rita Hodges of Lenoir County said she expects a chain reaction in the other counties. "If we're not all equal across the board, Lenoir County will pull out and join someplace else," she said.