Sussex County sheriff wants police powers

The Sussex County sheriff believes his office would operate better if he had the authority to do the same things as police officers.

Newly elected Jeff Christopher would like his deputies to receive crime fighting training.  He says he’d like to begin the debate over whether the sheriff would serve residents better if they were able to make arrests.

Christopher says deputies are witnesses to all sorts of crimes and it makes sense to give his department the power to act in a way to stop the crime.  Sussex County does not have a county police force as New Castle County does.  State Police take up patrols in unincorporated areas of Sussex County.  Christopher says his plan would not create a county force.

Christopher didn’t put a price tag on his idea.  Right now his budget pays for 9 deputies at a cost of $579,000. 

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