GOLDEN, Colo. (KDVR) — The sheriff of Jefferson County is making an appeal for additional funding to stop what he calls “alarming” attacks on his deputies.

Sheriff Jeff Shrader said crime rates continue to rise, and part of that comes from not being to keep criminals locked up. Shrader said it’s impacting the number of run-ins deputies are having with violent criminals.

“It seems to be happening more and more. This clearly got my attention when in a 28-day period, we have three violent incidents. Deputies became victims of attempted homicide,” Shrader said.

Shrader said he needs to hire 40 more deputies to run the jail, keep all of the facility’s floors open next year and keep crooks locked up.

The Cost? Another $3.7 million. Without that money, he said it will be impossible to keep criminals behind bars and will put deputies and the community at risk.

“Deputy sheriffs come to work here to protect people, to help people, to make their community safer. We don’t want them getting hurt when they are doing that,” Shrader said.

Shrader is asking commissioners to designate the money from unused federal pandemic dollars for his department to help fight crime. But the sheriff said county staff is recommending that he not get that money.

Commissioners have not yet voted on the sheriff’s request.

“It’s too early to tell what’s going to happen. It’s just a process that we go through, and this is under consideration,” Jefferson County Commission Board Chair Andy Kerr said.

Kerr said half the county’s budget goes to public safety. That includes a number of different agencies, like the district attorney’s office and Justice Services.

Shrader said the money is needed to protect deputies and the community as much as possible.