Local News

Wake County Sheriff Wants More Money

Posted Updated

RALEIGH — June 6, 1996 - 7:15 p.m. EDT

A dispute between Sheriff John Baker and the Wake County Board of Commissioners continues to heat up.

At issue is the county budget, which does not give Baker the money he wants in order to put more deputies out in unincorporated areas. The manner in which he has chosen to express his disappointment has both sides talking about lawsuits.

Baker has 80 deputies patrolling parts of Wake County that are not within city limits. That's a ratio of 1 deputy to more than 1,000 people, and Baker says continued population growth makes it impossible to keep up.

Baker's ongoing dispute with commissioners is about more money to put more deputies on the street. His critics say he's already got enough deputies, he just needs to deploy them differently.

Baker is going public with his side. He placed an ad in local papers stating "You have indicated you want safe and effective law enforcement. It does not appear that your county commissioners are listening."

The ad cost $7,500, which came out of Baker's budget. That angered commissioners and they ordered the Wake County Manager not to pay the bill.

Baker says he was just getting the facts out and that there was no political motivation for his running the ad. He says if the county won't pay the bill, he'll take them to court.

Commission Chair Gary Pendleton sees it differently. He says the ad asquitepolitical.

Pendleton told WRAL-TV5's Jim Axelrod that the commissioners aren't taking responsibility for Baker's actions.

Pendleton says there will also not be any more money for more deputies.

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