Island County sheriff warns that budget cuts will hurt patrols

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown is warning that a proposed 4.5 percent cut in the budgets for the county's law and justice programs may mean a reduction in police patrols.

In a letter to citizens sent Wednesday, Brown said that a $188,500 cut in his department would prompt the sheriff to look for cuts in patrols, a reassignment of employees, cuts in staff in non-emergency response areas, and further reductions in training.

"While it is the prerogative of the county commissioners I believe it further jeopardizes public and employee safety in Island County," Brown wrote.

County commissioners are trying to close a $1.2 million budget gap for 2010. Previous suggestions for solving the budget dilemma have included across-the-board cuts of 8 percent or reductions in funding for senior services, WSU-Extension programs and other non-mandated programs.

In the letter, Brown noted that commissioners had suggested 4.5 percent in cuts to all law-and-justice programs yesterday, and Brown continued to press commissioners to cut the budget for non-mandated programs.

"I am convinced that our county commissioners have been unable to realize what our citizens and my employees already know; law and justice is the most essential functions of government which is mandated by law and should not be competing for funding with non-mandated entities or organizations," he wrote. "Current funding and staffing levels are already less than adequate, and further cuts to law and justice should not be made."

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 26
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates