CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Harrison County Sheriff Robert Matheny is expressing his concern and frustration after a proposed yearly budget for his department leaves him with zero dollars to purchase equipment.

The yearly budget is created by the Harrison County Commission and gives an allotted 15 minutes to the Sheriff to speak to the commission about his budget requests.

According to the Sheriff, the line titled “Capital Outlay-Equipment” has a requested budget of $300,000, which matches last year’s awarded budget. The new budget, which would take effect on July 1, has “0” listed in the column.

The sheriff said this affects the whole department, as handcuffs, body armor, flashlights and other various equipment can no longer be purchased.

However, the budget has a new line, called “Capital Outlay-Tasers/BodyCam”, which has $7,000.

Sheriff Matheny said that the annual cost of the lease from Axon on the body camera and taser equipment is $65,000. That also covers the digital storage that houses the video footage and data regarding when equipment is turned on and off.

Another major deficit is the lease payment on patrol vehicles. Sheriff Matheny said several vehicles are on lease since their fleet is aging, and the equipment budget pays for the lease payment of the vehicles.

Sheriff Matheny said he sees money being used for the Rail Trail system and the commission instead of his force.

“If you’re moving money from law enforcement to a rails trails or wherever you move it, and you have money to raise your own budget by 259,000 in one and 478,000 in the other, to me, if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, the old saying is it’s a duck,” said Sheriff Matheny.

Sheriff Matheny also said that the budget must be passed by Tuesday, April 12, although revisions could be made after the budget is passed.