The increased staff will allow judges to put more people on house arrest.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- An increase in crime is taking its toll on Lawrence County's probation office.
County officials agreed to create two more full-time probation officer positions to help handle the overflow.
Adult Probation Director William Mancino said his office will promote one part-time probation officer to full-time status and hire one new person. That part-time position will be eliminated. Both new officers will be paid 31,000 per year.
Lawrence County Common Pleas President Judge Dominick Motto said the increased staff is needed because of increased drug-related crime.
"It's been several years since we've increased the department, and by doing this each probation officer will have a reasonable case load," he said.
Mancino said the additional full-time officers will allow the county to expand its in-home electronic monitoring program and increase revenue. He said they hope to add an additional 25 people to in-home electronic monitoring, which would yield about 150,000 in revenue for the county.
Motto also agreed to give 22,000 annually from the Judge's Supervision Fee Fund to help pay for the salaries.
Controller Mary Ann Reiter proposed that the county salary board make the new positions conditional. She wanted to review them after one year to ensure the revenue from electronic monitoring is paying for the salaries and eliminate them if not.
Commissioner Dan Vogler supported Reiter's idea, but Motto and commissioners Ed Fosnaught and Steve Craig voted it down.
Mancino said they will immediately promote the part-time probation officer to full time. The second person will not be hired until January.