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King County executive proposed budget to include more than $7 million in cuts to services provided by sheriff

In order to help close a $60 million shortfall in the general fund, the cuts to be proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine in his 2011 budget will include a reduction of $7.2 million from the King County Sheriff’s office – the equivalent of 71 full-time positions.

This 9.5 percent reduction of the sheriff's office budget means the layoffs of 28 deputies and two civilians .

In addition, the Sheriff says eight sergeants and four command staff members will be demoted and transferred back to patrol, and 51 detectives will be reassigned, most of them to driving a patrol car. Other public safety services that will be eliminated include: police storefronts, school resource officers, criminal intelligence, marine patrol, investigation of property crimes, homeland security, hazardous materials disposal, regional drug task forces, regional gang task forces, and many others.

The executive will outline all the cuts he must make to submit a balanced budget when he delivers his 2011 budget proposal Monday, Sept. 27, in a speech before the Metropolitan King County Council.

The proposed reductions in service from the Sheriff’s office include cuts to direct criminal justice services, and reductions created through efficiencies.

DIRECT CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES

(the numbers in parentheses represent reductions from the cost of continuing to provide the current level of services and staffing in 2011, while the numbers without represent additions)

Unincorporated Direct Service Reductions – ($3,732,315) Expenditure / ($793,113) Revenue / (35.00) FTEs or full-time equivlant.

This item abrogates 4.0 FTE Sergeants, 27.0 FTE Deputies, 1.0 FTE Fire Investigator and 3.0 FTE Communication Specialists for direct, unincorporated service. This reduction will result in the elimination of 8.0 School Resource Officers in the unincorporated areas, and will reduce Burglary and Larceny Detectives in the unincorporated area. The item also includes reductions in the Marine Unit, Major Crimes investigations, Special Assault investigations and SWAT Deputies.

Regional Direct Service Reductions – ($1,436,578) Expenditure / ($165,678) Revenue / (13.00) FTEs.

This item reduces 2.0 FTE Sergeants and 11.0 FTE Deputies involved in regional task forces such as the Eastside Narcotics Task Force, the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Task Force, and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas task force. Elimination of these positions will limit Sheriff’s Office participation in regional intelligence gathering and sharing, but will not affect direct 911 response officers.

Universal Hire Grant Deputy Reduction – ($779,654) Expenditure / (7.00) FTEs.

The Sheriff’s Office has applied for the federal COPS Office Universal Hire Program grant to fund Deputy positions to avoid layoffs. If the grant is received, these positions will be moved to the Grants Fund. If the grant is not received, the positions will be eliminated from the budget.

Administrative Overhead Reductions – ($357,833) Expenditure / ($197,803) Revenue / 4.0 FTEs.

In the face of severe financial challenges in the General Fund and pressures from contract cities to reduce contract costs, 4.0 FTE reductions were identified in overhead services. These FTEs resided in the Evidence, Records, and Range Services areas. Associated contract revenue was also reduced.

Closure of Tunnel Entrance to King County Courthouse – ($388,714) Expenditure / (6.00) FTEs.

Closure of the tunnel between the King County Administration Building and the King County Courthouse will allow reduction of staff in the Courthouse Weapons Screening Unit of the Sheriff’s Office with the least impact to the citizens of King County. The tunnel is the least busy entrance to the Courthouse and allows reductions in the Sheriff’s Office budget that do not affect uniformed Deputies. The reduced FTEs include 1.00 Marshal and 5.00 Security Screeners.

EFFICIENCY REDUCTIONS

Re-organization Savings – ($644,832) Expenditure / ($253,010) Revenue / (5.00) FTEs.

The Sheriff’s Office has recently re-organized operations from four precincts to two (east and west). This reorganization has allowed reductions in supervisory positions and some overhead support positions. This reduction reduces 1.0 FTE Chief, 1.0 FTE Captain, and 3.0 FTE Deputies.

Leadership Salary Freeze – ($34,374) Expenditure / $4,812 Revenue.

In response to the County’s fiscal crisis, the King County Executive, County Executive Office staff, and appointed county leadership are forgoing COLA and merit increases in 2011. This reduction implements the salary freeze for the 13 King County Sheriff’s Office employees who are subject to it.

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