According to Jefferson County Sheriff Glen Boyer, who chairs the MoSMART Board which administered the grant, the Adair County application did not include the necessary information to allow the board to determine annual salaries and approve funding.
This constituted a "major error," Boyer
said, and rejection of the application.
said of 115 sheriff's offices, 92 applied for DSSSF dollars and 65 agencies were approved.
Of those who were denied, 23, including Adair County
, were done so largely because of significant mistakes or omissions on the application, Boyer
said the board was disappointed it had to reject so many applications, especially given that the MoSMART Board and Missouri Sheriffs Association
hosted numerous meetings across the state to explain the application and answer questions.
"Certainly, the entire board hopes to achieve all our goals, which is to bring all sheriffs receiving a salary lower than $28,000 up to at least that level and get them off food stamps," Boyer
Despite that, Boyer
said the suggestion the process was competitive is false and that no department was denied funding based on the quality of their narrative or presentation of their application.
said the only way in which the awards would have been granted competitively is if the total amount pre-approved exceeded the funds available, which was not the case.
"There was enough money
We wanted to give the money
out, believe me, we did," Boyer
said, noting he
anticipates the funds becoming more competitive in the future as more departments complete proper applications.
said the priority was getting funds to deputies with salaries below $28,000, and in some cases the board contacted agencies if applications had minor errors, which he
described as those with proper information and documentation to allow for approval, but small problems or discrepancies that could be easily and quickly fixed.
noted of the 92 applications received, 65 sheriffs "had no problems, or minor problems at most."
Asked why the members did not contact every agency with an error, whether "minor" or "major," and allow them to make corrections or submit the proper documentation, Boyer
said that wasn't feasible.
Board, comprised of five sheriffs, sat for three days to review the 92 applications in order to process and award funds by Jan. 1, 2012.
said there was concern over the precedent set by essentially allowing a mass re-application.
"What would happen to a sheriff office that did not apply at all and now wants to apply?
What about a sheriff office that said instead of applying for $10,000, they'd like $20,000?
We'd have to start the whole process over again," Boyer
said, "and then what happens when individuals did not complete the application propertly that time?
Do you start all over again?
"It's unfortunate, but I don't think that's in control of the MoSMART
I think that was the responsibility of the local sheriff," Boyer
"It's a lot easier to place blame on someone else than to admit to one's own mistake," he
Adair County Sheriff's Office officials said the spirit of the law was lost in bureaucracy, a point they believe was proved when all agencies were not afforded every chance to get their applications correct.
"For Sheriff Boyer
to say he
put the priority on the smaller sheriffs, why wasn't he
on the phone calling them to tell them their paperwork was jacked up?
"would flatly deny that" suggestion.
said the board gave no cap on the amount awarded in instances where a salary increase would meet $28,000, meaning they would likely approve a request of $8,000 if a deputy's salary was $20,000.
In cases where funds were sought to increase salaries already above $28,000, a $100-per-month cap was instituted.
added that plenty of money
remained and was placed back into the fund for the next grant period, which opens in April 2012.
The application process will change at that time to a computer-based form that will not allow agencies to continue past a section if an error is detected, which MoSMART hopes decreases the number of denials.
said, an application process is required by law, necessary to allow for future audits, and helps ensure funds are utilized only for deputies' salaries.
"If there was no process, a county could take all that money
and do what it wanted," Boyer