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Sheriff's Departments' Funding Sources

(see below for individual Sheriff's Departments)

The following reports provide information about Vermont’s 14 County Sheriff’s departments’ funding sources.  Each Sheriff’s  department is independently audited every two years, but those financial statements do not include all of the information presented here.  For more information about a specific Sheriff’s budget, please contact the Sheriff’s department directly.

Sheriff’s departments have a mix of funding sources. The main sources are:

  • State employee salaries and benefits. The State of Vermont pays the salaries and benefits for (1) the elected sheriffs, and (2) for 25 State Transport Deputies who are allocated across the 14 departments primarily tasked with the transportation of prisoners, juveniles and persons with mental health issues  to court hearings, and transports related to extraditions.
  • County employee salaries and benefits. Each county provides their Sheriff’s department with varying administrative, secretarial, and/or custodial assistance, from either part-time or full-time employees.
  • Other county-provided resources. Some counties provide other resources to their sheriff’s department, such as building rent/utilities, or trainings.  These resources vary widely by county. 
  • Contracts. Sheriff’s departments enter into contracts with towns, schools, and private organizations to provide patrol and other security services.  Contracts may be for a day, a month, or multi-year.
  • Grants. Departments sometimes receive grants from federal and state sources, such as highway safety grants.
  • Special Investigation Units. Special Investigation Units are multi-agency task forces that conduct criminal investigations in response to sexual assaults and child abuse.  Sheriffs that participate in these units receive funding from various law enforcement grants.
  • Other Funding. Other funding includes money from other sources, including property seizure revenue among others.

The Sheriff’s 5 Percent Policy

When sheriffs enter into contracts, Vermont statute allows them to retain up to five percent of the value of the contract for administration [24 V.S.A. § 291a(c)]. Sheriffs make their own policy as to how much, if any, to retain and how to use it. The fee for administration can be thought of as an Indirect Cost Rate, similar to what State agencies and departments charge for grant administration when they receive federal grants.

Liquid Assets

Some Sheriffs are able to put aside money from contract revenues and other sources.  This is important because the State and counties do not pay for much of the equipment, training, and other expenses necessary to operate sheriffs’ departments.  In order to replace vehicles and other equipment, some sheriffs maintain various investment accounts so that equipment purchases can be made when necessary.  Information about sheriff’s liquid assets can be found on the Vermont State Auditors website, available here.

Funding Sources by County Sheriff