Polk sheriff makes yet more cuts
“My overtime budget is less than 6 percent for the remainder of this budget cycle (through June 30), and I have received notification from another deputy who has accepted a conditional job offer, making this the fourth deputy to leave in the last two months,” Wolfe said.
The sheriff’s office has not had round-the-clock daily coverage since March 2013, because of the loss of Oregon & California Railroad money from the federal government.
A November public safety levy would have restored funding for patrol coverage, district attorney’s office staffing and juvenile and community corrections, but took a drubbing. That left the sheriff little choice.
“Failure of the public safety levy set into motion the departure of employees from my agency who are seeking employment with other agencies that have stable financial outlooks,” Wolfe said.
Due to the additional departure of employees from the sheriff’s office beginning this month, the patrol division will be reduced to 10 patrol hours a day, seven days a week.
“This is extremely difficult and makes the third time since late February I have had to make shift adjustments,” Wolfe said. “I have to make cuts so as to not overspend my budget.”
The 10 hours of patrol each day will reduce overtime costs through the redirection of scheduling and allow more coverage within the 10 hours each day than what is currently being offered with two separate 10-hour shifts, according to Wolfe.
The Polk County Budget Committee meets next week to work on the 2014-15 budget, to take effect July 1. But little relief is anticipated.
“This will be another tough budget session with no bright outlook for next year,” he said. “I know additional cuts will happen and this is why employees are still out looking for other work.”
Polk County includes portions of Grand Ronde, Sheridan and Willamina.
Sheridan and Willamina contract with the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services. Grand Ronde now has its own police department, thanks to the tribe.