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California's No. 2 Sheriff's Agency Begins Massive Layoffs

May 18, 2011  | 

Photo: Flickr (kevinalanbaum).

Riverside County (Calif.) Sheriff Stan Sniff has mailed layoff notices to 800 full-time staffers and will begin implementing layoffs of deputies June 1 to help close budget gaps plaguing the county. The cuts could also cause reductions in jail operations.

With about 3,000 full-time employees, Riverside County is the state's second largest sheriff department behind Los Angeles County. The move is expected affect response times mostly in unincorporated areas of a county with about 450,000 residents, according to the sheriff.

If approved by the board of supervisors in June, over 500 full-time staff will be laid off starting July 1. The first wave of layoffs will involve 100 patrol and corrections deputies that will end their duties July 13. Nearly 800 notices will be required due to the complexity of the layoff process that includes seniority, bumping rights, reclassification, transfers-to-need assignments and notification sequences.

The cuts are not as drastic as those suggested by the county's chief executive officer. Sheriff Sniff told the board of supervisors on April 4 that sheriff's operations would be "cratered" if the board approved the CEO's recommended budget for the sheriff that recommended cuts of as much as $60 million for the coming fiscal year to a sheriff with a $10 million deficit for the fiscal year ending in June.

"We will professionally make the best of whatever outcome occurs, but we all understand that the budget reflects the public's priority on how their taxpayer dollars are allocated and spent," according to a statement by Sheriff Sniff.

If the chief executive's cuts were fully implemented, the patrol levels in unincorporated areas would reach 0.75 deputies per 1,000 residents. The cuts would also end the department's role on the gang and sexual predator task forces, close half of countywide drug teams that deal with dispensaries, reduce patrol aviation service hours, and mothball several patrol substations.

On the corrections side, 800 jail beds would be closed at the recently expanded Larry Smith Correctional Facility (LSCF), forcing many local agencies to book their inmates into the Riverside or Indio jail facilities. Riverside County's jail system would have to be reduced from 4,200 to 3,100 beds.

The department's county jail system is made up of five separate facilities, and currently has capacity for 3,900 inmates. The jail system serves all of the criminal justice agencies in the county and annually books 60,000 adults.

By Paul Clinton


California Sheriff To Add 359 Final Model Year Crown Vics

Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Morning Eagle @ 5/20/2011 2:51 PM

If, as Sheriff Sniff says, these cutbacks truly reflect public opinion on how their tax dollars are being spent, then that public must be mostly comprised of people that are either criminals themselves or they are totally ignorant of how much effort and expense it takes to try to protect them from the predators among them. In either case, if the "public" allows these massive cutbacks to proceed they do not deserve the sacrifices made on their behalf by officers that have been putting their life on the line every day. They only deserve to be left swinging in the wind when the bad guys come calling. But I am sure the individuals on the county board of supervisors will still have plenty of security provided for them.

It is astounding and disgusting that when budgets start being cut, the first place the bean counters look at reducing are the very agencies that do the work necessary for public safety and protection. Law enforcement, fire fighters and other EMS personnel are always first in line for the chopping block. After the cuts take effect the public screams in protest when the police aren't instantaneously on site, houses and businesses burn to the ground due to inadequate response capabilities, and predators are turned loose back to the streets early because there aren't enough operational facilities to house them.

TimFromLA @ 10/25/2011 12:15 AM

Morning Eagle, to blame the public is not only unfair but downright wrong. Check out the Pew Research on the Occupier Wall Streets: As you could see, the biggest supporters are on the left. And the mantra from the 99%ers are: Tax the rich and corporations. The taxes would then go to public services, which includes: first responders, schools, highways and so on. On the other hand, the conservatives are against any form of taxes and were against the the jobs bill which included: teachers, fire fighters and LEO. Yet the tactics used by the Republicans, even if it means to sacrifice LEOs was the brainchild of conservative: Jude Wanninski-Two Santa Claus theory...a permanent Republican Govt.

And also read this:
Rep. Steve King: Cut DOJ Budget Over Obama’s DOMA Decision:

GOP To Eric Holder: We Will Cut Off DOJ Funding Over Obama’s Decision Not To Defend DOMA:

Remember, my taxes pay the DOJ so that we can have your services. But so long as we have a Democratic party member in the White House, the Republican will stop at nothing to end his term...even at the expense of your safety/career

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