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Klamath County Sheriff Concerned About $2.4M In Budget Cuts

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.

Copyright 2014 Oregon Public Broadcasting