Sheriff to County: More Cuts Would Decimate Service

Share |
(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, January 30, 2009

The county has already approved drastic cuts before and during this fiscal year.  Now, for its regular mid-year adjustments, it has to find another $55 million to eliminate.  That includes more than $10 million in the Sheriffs department – money Sheriff John McGinness says would decimate patrol service.
McGinness: “There’s no posturing, no politicking or games playing hardball or otherwise.  We’re down to absolute, real true brass tacks.  And every dollar that’s reduced from where we are now goes straight to field services, because frankly, we don’t have any options anywhere else.” 
But it doesn’t appear the county has much to work with, either.  It’s already planning in probation and health and human services.  And even after that – and the disputed sheriff’s funds – the county would still fall far short.
Gill: “It still leaves about $22 million that we are coming up with solutions for.” 
Chief Operations Officer Nav Gill says the county is weighing additional cuts and borrowing funds from other programs.  It’s also hoping for help from the federal stimulus bill.  In the meantime, Gill’s response to the sheriff is noncommittal.
Gill: “Law enforcement is our top priority.  We know it’s not immune from economic pressures.  But we are committed to working with the sheriff to see if we can assist in this fiscal problem.” 
The final say will rest with the Board of Supervisors – starting with a vote on nearly 200 layoffs in mid-February.