The Sheriff of Klamath County is unhappy with a proposed public safety budget that would force him to cut 32 of his staff members.
Sheriff Frank Skrah and the commissioners who proposed the cuts will face off in a budget hearing Thursday.
The proposed cuts total about $2.4 million. Sheriff Skrah says the cuts would force him to release most offenders from jail immediately after fingerprinting them. And deputies would only patrol eight hours a day, five days a week.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for 34 years and I have never seen anything more ludicrous in my entire life.”
Skrah says the county has nearly $100 million in a road reserve fund that the state has authorized to pay for public safety. Last year the sheriff received $1.7 million from the road fund.
County chair Jim Bellet says the commissioners have proposed transferring half a million from the road fund to the sheriff’s department. Bellet says using the road reserve to fund the sheriff’s department isn’t sustainable in the long term.