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Money battles continue between Wythe County Sheriff's Office and Board of Supervisors

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WYTHEVILLE (WSLS 10) - The Wythe County Sheriff's Office continues its fight with the county's Board of Supervisors over money for the upcoming year.

Sheriff Keith Dunagan said his office will fund the school resource officer program with traffic ticket revenue from the Police Activity Fund.

A few months ago, Dunagan said the program may have to be cut because the county was not giving him enough money for other things.

The board said in a news release August 11 that the sheriff's office has been provided money for the SRO program.

The release went on to say the board is disappointed that children have been used in political gamesmanship.

Dunagan said in response, "If anybody's using it for political gamesmanship, I think you saw who it was when you read that release. The SROs, we started that program and we've always funded it."

The county said it will pay the sheriff's office $600,000 to supplement traffic ticket revenue. Dunagan claimed the county offered a range from $400,000 to $600,000, and that he has not seen any of it go into effect yet. The county said the money has gone into effect and will be distributed over time.

The board presented Dunagan with a memorandum of agreement that outlined how the budget would be divided from now on. It also dictated how the sheriff's office should prioritize funding, with SROs being at the top of the list.

Dunagan said he is refusing to sign the agreement, mainly because he does not believe the county should dictate how he runs his office.

It remains unclear how that will impact future funding.