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Klamath County Sheriff Concerned About $2.4M In Budget Cuts

OPB | April 17, 2014 10:04 a.m. | Portland

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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.

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