Several years ago the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office adopted a “quartermaster style” of uniform allowance for their deputies. On Monday, the county worked on an internal audit to make sure everything was kosher.

Under the previous system, the employees were given a uniform allowance for cleaning and repair. The quartermaster system was instituted about 2012 and that brought with it a different set of bookkeeping requirements.

New Shelby County Treasurer Erica Firnhaber and the Law Enforcement Committee of the Shelby County Board met with representatives from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office on Monday to do an internal audit and double check that there were no discrepancies.

County Board Member Kay Kearney, the chairperson of the Law Enforcement Committee, said that the hope would be that the quartermaster system will change with the approval of a new labor contract.

Then the clothing allowance can be given with a lump sum, minus taxes, and the individual employee can make necessary purchases of clothing or equipment on their own. That would avoid all the additional accounting required by the quartermaster system.

The committee and the treasurer checked paperwork for purchases provided by Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Administrative Assistant Tina Wade. Under Sheriff and Jail Administrator Rob McCall was also on hand for any clarification.

The Sheriff’s Office has 27 full-time employees and five part-time. The allowance of $750 per full-time person adds up to $20,250.

The allowance is to be used on items for work. Items necessary for work were tax free, optional items were not.

“We want to make sure we are on the same page,” Kearney said. “It’s an inconvenience to go through this until the system gets corrected.”

Once Firnhaber crunches the numbers to make sure everything is equal she plans on discussing the process with the new county auditors, West & Company, LLC.

John Curtis can be reached at

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