Sheriff Jim Hammond is asking for four new patrol officers, five correctional officers and two more detectives in a budget that seeks an increase of $1,853,398.
He said his department is facing rising food and fuel costs.
The sheriff told County Commission members that the county jail is increasingly taking on aspects of a mental facility as the state cuts back on treatment options for those with mental problems. He said 20 percent of those at the jail are mental health patients.
The cost of medicine for these patients has reached a quarter million dollars a year.
He said the budget includes implementing the proposed bridge pension program that would have a mandatory retirement for law officers at age 60.
Sheriff Hammond said in conjunction with implementation of the plan he has cut one deputy chief and one captain. He said some other posts may be eliminated if the bridge plan goes into effect.
He said nine people have indicated they would like to retire under the plan currently.
Dr. James Metcalfe, medical examiner, said tightened state requirements for certification for his office are driving up costs. The request is for an increase of $76,143.
He said toxicology tests had been sent to the TBI in the past, but it has a 120-day turnaround. The state requirement is for a 90-day turnaround so the office will have to have them processed at a private lab.
Commissioner Fred Skillern said the state certification requirements had "gotten totally out of hand" and he said legislative action is needed.
District Attorney Bill Cox, noting that the legislature has approved several bills bringing sanctions against gang members, said his office needs a gang prosecutor. He said he has applied for a grant to fund the prosecutor and it is not in the requested budget.
Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern said she recently learned that there is a pay discrepancy for the three bailiffs in that court. She said it is recommended that all three be brought up to $40,000, saying the highest is near that amount.
When Commissioner Greg Beck said he understands that bailiffs in Chancery Court make a higher amount, Judge Stern asked that Criminal Court bailiffs be raised to that amount.
She also asked for new chairs for the jury rooms, saying the current ones are "embarrassing."
She listed a possible price of $638 each for the 56 chairs, but said it likely would be lower than that.
Commissioner Joe Graham said he knows a firm that sells beautiful office chairs for $35 each that have a lifetime guarantee.
Public Defender Ardena Garth said her office may move from its longtime quarters on Cherry Street near Seventh to the Tivoli Building at Broad and Seventh.