Sheriff Arnold Says County Jail Understaffed

Oct 11, 2012

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT/MT10)  --  Sheriff Robert Arnold says Rutherford County’s Adult Detention Center is badly understaffed and is asking County Commissioners for a budget increase.

Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Lisa Marchesoni says there are currently only two deputies on each floor of the jail. Each floor houses roughly 150 to 200 inmates. She says some guard posts in the jail are routinely left unmanned, a situation that's dangerous for the guards as well as the inmates.

"It's a matter of safety and it's a matter of taking caer of the inmates. Everybody wants the sheriff to lock up the criminals, but taxpayers are reluctant to pay for it."

Marchesoni says the jail has seen more inmate fights and assaults as a result of the under staffing. 

Sheriff Robert Arnold is asking County Commissioners for more than $1.25 million annually in new funding to hire 44 additional full time positions. 

If fully funded, the request could mean a tax increase for county residents.

Commissioners will have to weigh that increase against the potential for serious injury, property losses and lawsuits that may occur as a result of the personnel shortage.