Crawford County Justices of the Peace approved a new lieutenant position for the county detention center.

JPs approved a request from Crawford County Sheriff Ron Brown to create and fund a position for a new detention lieutenant with yearly salary and benefits of $31,757.33 during their Crawford County Quorum Court meeting Monday night.

Salary for the new position will be paid from the county’s quarter-cent sales tax for jail maintenance. The position passed through personnel and budget committees Monday night before approval by the CCQC.

Brown needed the position, he said, to deal with the administrative duties of the midnight shift, such as preparing court documents.

“Adding an additional person to that shift, they then would have some duties split between them,” Brown said.

Because the new jail has a larger inmate population, the sergeant that had been doing the administrative work has been preoccupied with handling inmates and is overburdened by the administrative work, Brown said.

Brown asked for the lieutenant position instead of a female detention deputy, or matron, position that was approved by the Crawford County Personnel Committee in April.

Brown was approved for three matron positions at that time, but only two were funded by the quorum court. He was told to make a later request for the third matron salary.

A detention deputy from within the sheriff’s department will be promoted to fill the lieutenant position beginning Aug. 1, Brown said. The salary and benefits will be prorated at $17,993.36 for the remainder of the year.

It is likely Brown will hire a female for the vacated position to fulfill his need for another matron, he said.

JPs also approved $173,260 from the quarter-cent sales tax to go toward five new patrol vehicles with equipment for the sheriff’s department.

Brown said the new vehicles will replace five patrol vehicles with at least 130,000 miles logged, which will be handed down to officers in civil process, bailiffs and court security.

“The reason I like to have a marked vehicle for courthouse security is I believe it’s the first line of defense,” Brown said.

Five other vehicles with mileage not less than 160,000 and up to 300,000 will be decommissioned, stripped of their equipment and offered to smaller local departments on a lease program, or go to the county auction to be sold for parts, Brown said.

Patrol officers need reliable vehicles because of the nature of their job, Brown said. Because of the hard use and cost of maintenance, Brown would prefer to replace patrol vehicles at 100,000 miles or less, he said.

Up to $70,000 in the sheriff’s yearly budget is set aside for vehicle maintenance, he said.

Brown hopes to replace five vehicles every year, which would give a patrol officer a new vehicle every three years, he said.