Morton County sheriff requesting increase to 2020 budget

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MORTON COUNTY, N.D. - Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier is requesting an increase of around $300,000 for his department's 2020 budget.

He's looking for a total of $4.5 million.

First up on the list is body cameras. The department has been testing out some models over the last two years and is ready to buy the devices for deputies. Kirchmeier says it would help with evictions and other cases.

"The deputies out there trying to do that, they've been kicked, and bitten, and jumped on, and that type of thing so it'd be, to have that recorded and that contact with those individuals would be useful," said Kirchmeier.

The next big item is a new tool in the proverbial tool chest. Kirchmeier wants to convert more of the department's shotguns into nonlethal weapons that fire bean bags and no longer fire slugs or buckshot. The goal is to make the conversion for all officers.

"We always want to go with the lowest possible to do that, and that just gives us the opportunity to have other options with the individual that does have a knife if he's threatening individuals. Those are the big ones," said Kirchmeier.

The conversion costs about $200 per weapon.

Morton county commissioners are still discussing the budget, so they can still make changes.​