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Essex County may postpone hiring for Sheriff's department

ELIZABETHTOWN - Essex County may hold off hiring two additional transportation officers for a few months until the budgetary effects of six previous hirings can be assessed.

Essex County Manager Dan Palmer told supervisors Monday, that he is unsure about how the additional six corrections officers already employed by the county sheriff's department will impact overtime costs.

"I suggest we table any additional hirings until I can figure out the impact of the current officer's on the 2010 budget," Palmer said.

Last week, Essex County Sheriff Henry Hommes told supervisors that due to a state mandate, he is required to hire two additional officers.

In response, supervisors scrutinized the request citing budgetary concerns, but agreed to consider the move at the upcoming full board meeting at the end of the month.

But now, the measure may wait until the fall before reaching the county board of supervisors floor for approval.

At present, Essex County employs 65 officers between sheriff's deputies and correctional officers.

In June, the state Department of Corrections ruled that Essex County must have 67 officers.

But Supervisors and county officials are wary of any further hirings, as they expect down revenues and tight budgetary constraints.

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