Howard County Sheriff Defends Call for Jail Tax Increase

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) _ A central Indiana sheriff is defending a requested tax increase, saying his jail is understaffed but still expected to provide medical and mental health services to its inmates.

Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers is asking for four new corrections officers through a proposed tax increase that would cost taxpayers 50 cents per $1,000 of earned income. The Kokomo Tribune reports ( ) the increase would generate up to $800,000 in jail revenue.

A study commissioned by jail officials found the facility is understaffed by 13 corrections officers and a mental health therapist.

The jail currently has 47 corrections officers spread across three shifts. Those employees worked nearly 16,000 hours of overtime in 2014. That's up from about 4,400 hours in 2013 and less than 2,100 hours in 2012.