tried to mask those cuts. But this time, people -- especially in the
unincorporated areas -- will feel the impact."
The department stands to lose at least $34.8 million from next
year's budget, with a steeper plunge expected when the county adopts
its final budget in June.
While deputies have not been let go during the past two years,
layoffs are definite next year, especially in unincorporated areas,
Layoffs will not affect cities that contract for policing from the
sheriff, such as La Canada Flintridge, but areas like La Crescenta
will have to put up with slower response times and fewer officers on
the front lines, Tanaka said.
Contract cities pay for the services the department provides, so
they will not deal with the layoffs, Tanaka said, adding that the
department might raise its rates for services.
Sheriff Lee Baca has said his department might not be charging
enough for services to contract cities and he will consider raising
"It is my hope that the department will share with the contract
cities if they expect to raise rates so that we could have some
input," La Canada Flintridge City Manager Mark Alexander said.
The city pays the sheriff's department $1.8 million annually for
services, including four units that patrol the city around the clock.
The search and rescue team's budget has already been reduced
during the past two years.
"The cuts for the last couple of years have had an impact in the
amount of equipment we've been able to replace," team Sgt. Randy
Sulstrom said. "It's down from about $8,000 to about $1,500. And with
another $34-million shortfall, that will be reduced, if not
Outfitting a new member of the team costs about $2,000, he said.
Less certain is what type of cuts patrol units will face, station
Capt. Tim Peters said.
"I have not been given insight into what's going to happen with
our station," he said. "If we get hit hard, that means we'd have to
sit down and really strategize where we are going to make the cuts,"
he said, adding that time might not come until the final budget is
approved in June.