Another 100 deputies were laid off, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The latest round of pink slips handed out Thursday brought the total to 200 layoffs effective August 10.
Last month, due to the county’s budget cuts. Another 500 positions are slated to be cut in the next few months if the Riverside County Board of Supervisors makes no changes to the proposed budget, said sheriff’s Cpl. Courtney Donowho.
The board is scheduled to vote on the budget on June 13.
Though the areas within Temecula's city boundaries -- which will have the same number of deputies as last year -- nearby communites, such as Wine Country, Anza, De Luz, French Valley and Winchester, will see reduced service.
The cuts are going to wreak havoc on the department’s ability to function, Sheriff Stan Sniff said in a written statement.
“It will take us years to dig ourselves out of the mess this creates for our criminal justice system and the allied law enforcement agencies we work with,” he said
The department readied a “massive reassignment and transfer list” in preparation for the layoffs. It will move deputies out of special teams, such as the gang task force, the sexual predator team and the frontline drug task forces, the corporal said.
“The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department continues planning for next year’s budget based upon the severe cuts to its services,” Donowho said.
The proposed budget cuts $60 million from county law enforcement’s budget, according to the sheriff’s department.
Every time the department lays off a trained, experienced deputy, it throws away money, Sniff said.
“To lay off any of our employees is a travesty and an incredible waste of taxpayer dollars in the face of dangerous times in many areas we serve,” he said. “To give up jail capacity, precipitously drop patrol levels in the unincorporated areas, mothball any of our 10 patrol stations or to give up critical multi-agency task forces and teams right now is very poor public policy and wasteful of already scarce public safety resources.”
Though whether all – or any – of the cuts will make it into the final budget was unknown, the department started to notify people of the layoffs in advance to avoid going into debt.
“The cuts are so deep that the department could not wait in its planning without causing a sea of red ink after July 1,” Donowho said.
The department also wanted to give employees as much notice as possible so they could better take care of themselves, Sheriff Stan Sniff wrote in a written statement.
“We have a responsibility to follow the board’s guidance when they make a decision on June 13 on our funding levels, but we also have a responsibility to give our employees as much notice as possible so that they can reasonably make plans,” Sniff stated.
Sniff and county supervisors Marion Ashley and Jeff Stone met to work out plans to avoid cutting medical services in the, the corporal reported.
The layoffs will inevitably affect service levels, Donowho said.
“Additional layoff notices and transfer orders will occur throughout the summer, causing considerable turbulence throughout all Sheriff’s operations,” she said. “The department apologizes in advance to the public for the problems that it will create but hopes that the far-reaching impacts of our rapid downsizing is understood by communities.”