LISBON - The Columbiana County Sheriff's Office has a new deputy, thanks to an additional $100,000 in funding provided by county commissioners.
Sheriff Ray Stone said he hired James "Jasper" Cannon, 40, a part-time officer with the St. Clair Township Police Department. Cannon, who starts Jan. 28, has also worked with the Liverpool Township and Wellsville police departments.
Cannon will be filling a slot that has been vacant since February 2012 following the retirement of the Deputy Dan Bradley. Stone said he was unable to fill the position last year after commissioners cut funding for most offices by 5 percent in 2012.
The reduction for the sheriff's office was $90,000 but commissioners restored the budget cut this year by providing Stone's office with $100,000 increase.
Cannon's starting wage is $14.75 an hour, or $30,680, but Stone said the actual cost to his budget is nearly $60,000 once you include health insurance coverage and other employee benefits, which is why he is only able to hire one deputy with the additional funding.
Stone intends to use the remaining money that commissioners gave him to possibly assign a second deputy to the county Drug Task Force. He is seeking a state grant to help cover the rest of the cost.
As for Cannon, he will work the road patrol and eventually be assigned the 7 p.m.-3 a.m. overlap shift, which was discontinued while the sheriff's office was short a deputy.
"It will put a deputy on the road at the busiest peak time" for criminal activity, Stone said, adding that having an additional deputy is expected to cut down somewhat on overtime.
This returns Stone's staff to 20 deputies, which includes the sheriff, chief deputy and 12 road patrol deputies.