- Associated Press - Saturday, January 6, 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - County employees sent a barrage of written and verbal complains when commissioners cut funding for security at the administration building in Rapid City.

It worked. County commissioners buckled and agreed to reinstate security at the Pennington County Administration Building, the Rapid City Journal reported .

The building’s employees said they’re often in need of security to curb bad behavior among individuals who visit to pay taxes, renew vehicle registration or conduct business with county offices. They said they’ve been sworn at or forced to witness fights among people standing in line.

“Our famous line is, ‘You know, we can go get security. They’re right down the hall,’” said County Treasurer Janet Sayler. “And people’s attitudes change immediately.”

County officials slashed security funding for the 2018 budget to manage proposed raises for county employees. The commissioners had asked department heads to identify ways to absorb the cost of the raises in their budgets.

Sheriff Kevin Thom included a cut that was the equivalent of 1.5 security jobs at the County Administration Building. The cut amounted to nearly $73,000. It removed the sheriff’s deputies staffed at the desk in the building’s entrance.

Commissioners accepted and adopted the sheriff’s budget in the fall. After fielding many complaints from employees, the commissioners voted unanimously in late December to reinstate the funding.

The cut wasn’t scheduled to take effect until Jan. 1, so there was never a lapse in security.

Commissioners haven’t yet decided what part of the budget to use for the security funding.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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