Proposed Sonoma County budget cuts puts Sheriff's Department on defensive

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 07:07PM
If you live in Sonoma County and you're worried about losing some of the services offered by the sheriff's department, you're not alone.


SANTA ROSA, Calif. - If you live in Sonoma County and you're worried about losing some of the services offered by the sheriff's department, you're not alone.

Budget discussions led to accusations of premature cutting of vital services.

The county is asking every department to describe how it would cut between three and six percent.

It has asked the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department for $6.5 million, which somehow appeared on the department's early projections yesterday.



"I don't know how it got onto the agenda. I assume they wanted it to be public," Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane said.

The department's proposals include cutting back on staffing in outlying areas and reducing community services. They do not want to impact public service.

"Every cut hurts. Every cut at every position will hurt. Our goal is if someone needs emergency assistance they will have a deputy coming to their door," Spencer Crum with the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department said.


The president of the Sheriff's Deputy Union is not pleased, either.

"We're bare minimums now. Anytime someone calls in sick we're working 12 hour shifts and barely able to keep up," Union President Deputy Mike Vale said.

In the meantime, Zane, who runs the board, says these cuts are necessary due to union pay raises and better benefits.

They're not cuts, she says it's more like asking the departments to work within their means, but there is wiggle room.

"Of course there is wiggle room. But we do not want to make a budget using scare tactics," Zane said.

The board will vote on all budgets in June.
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