Butler Co. lays off deputies - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Butler Co. lays off deputies

By Dan Wells - bio | email

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - On July 16, Butler County commissioners voted to reduce the sheriff's department budget by $900,000.

We know the result of that vote is 34 layoffs - 13 full time employees and 21 part time.

Butler County residents will see service reductions in both county patrols and in the county jail. The move has people living in Butler County and the sheriff's department very upset.

As tax revenues continues to slide in Butler County, budget cuts have become even more of a reality.

"We had to give pink slips to 34 people and we know these are tough times, but it was done in a very disrespectful way," said Sheriff Richard Jones. "They didn't give us much time. We had to cut a million dollars out with nine pay periods left and the only way that you can do that is with payroll deductions."

Sheriff Jones says county commissioners could have found the money elsewhere, but instead voted to cut $3.5 million from county departments.

He says the biggest target was his department, meaning county residents will also feel this budget pinch.

"Services are not going to be a good as they were in some areas it's going to be slower and my employees are going to do double and three times the jobs," said Jones.

Lisa Herrin, who lives in Butler County, says it's news that makes her sick and angry.

"So now that everybody is unemployed and has no money, and resorts to crime, lets reduce the amount of police we have on the streets who protect those law abiding citizens like myself who get up and go to work everyday and make $9.25 an hour trying to make ends meet," said Herrin. "How is that going to help anything.? Its not."

Fellow resident Susan Cox also agrees.

"Where is all of our tax money going?" she asked. "We're giving all of this money out of our checks. Its supposed to help us but where is it all going?"

Last week, the county announced the situation is so bad that even more money needed to balance the 2009 budget will come from county reserve funds, certainly not something that makes residents feel any better.

"I think it stinks because there are so many people in this city who can not find jobs and can not get assistance," said Herrin. "Everything is getting cut. What are these people supposed to do?"

Butler County officials say service levels in the county will now return to levels last seen in 2007.

By contract, sheriff's office employees have 26 days before those layoffs take effect. Sheriff Jones says he's going to use that time working with the union to see if he can't save the full time jobs being eliminated.

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