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Washington County staffs up to process permits to carry firearms

The Washington County Board approved adding a half-time position to the sheriff’s office through 2015 to process applications for permits to carry weapons. The board is also adding a full-time public safety system manager.

State law requires the sheriff to issue a permit to carry to anyone who qualifies. It also places the burden of processing those applications and validating the person is qualified and eligible to hold a permit solely on the sheriff’s office, county officials say.

The law also requires the sheriff’s office to conduct a criminal history check of all current permit holders to check for any criminal offense that would require the permit to be revoked.

In 2013, there were 3,417 permit-to-carry applications filed in Washington County, compared to 2,142 in 2012 and 1,354 in 2011.

The salary for the half-time position will be paid for with permit-to-carry application fees.

The full-time public safety system manager will be responsible for the day-to-day administration, and configuration of Washington County’s new Record Management, Jail Management and Computer Aided Dispatch System. The position will oversee the management of the system that is the sole records program for all law enforcement agencies and a majority of fire departments in the county, and is responsible for ensuring that the system is meeting all of the needs of the public safety agencies. The person will also be the main point of contact for the agencies.