Rising energy prices are fueling a change at the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.
The office hours have been shortened.
Walking down the dimly lit hallways of the sheriff's department you can tell energy conservation is on everyone's minds.
Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office Sheriff John McDaniel says the department has gone to a four day work week to cut back on electricity and gas usage.
The department is running about $20,000 to $30,000 dollars a month over budget just for fuel.
“To compensate for that, what we decided to do is go to 12 hour shifts, two 12 hour days on, two, two-hour days off and then back on two days again so we still get the same number of hours per employee; they work 40 hours per week.”
The office staff is working four 10 hour days, Monday through Thursday.
The office is closed on Fridays and weekends, but an investigative officer is on call.
The on duty officer has been reassigned to patrol so residents need to call the Communications Center for help instead of driving to the office.
Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office Capt. Earl Cloud says the change in hours will not affect emergency services. “If anyone calls 911, we are going to send the officer in that zone to that address to see what the problem is. None of that is going to change,” he reassured.
Warrants Clerk Jean Wilkinson says not only will this change save the county money, it will help the employees through these tough economic times.
“I have a brother that's dying so that'll give me the time to spend with him. The four days not only will help with that, [but] it's a gas saver. It will save me about $20-$30 dollars more per week,” Wilkinson said.
It’s a change the sheriff is hoping will help stretch the $4.5 million dollar budget, and still keep the public safe.
Residents who need to file a case report should call the Communications Center at 850-482-9648 and request to be contacted by an officer.