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Sheriff's Department Facing 800 Job Cuts

Unincorporated areas surrounding Lake Elsinore and Wildomar expected to be impacted by the cuts.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is faced with cutting 800 positions from it payroll and the losses could “seriously undermine public safety in the county,” the president of the deputies' union said today.

Pat McNamara, head of the 3,500-member Riverside Sheriffs' Association, said the cuts would be unprecedented. 

The possibility of significant layoffs was the subject of a memo distributed to sheriff's employees Friday. In it, Sheriff Stan Sniff reiterated the financial burdens on the sheriff's department stemming from spending cuts in the 2011-12 fiscal year. “Unfortunately, these cuts will necessitate staffing reductions,'' he wrote.

The proposed 800 layoffs are more than twice the original estimate submitted by the sheriff during an

According to a department news release that was distributed Friday, contract cities will be unaffected by the cuts.

The same cannot be said for the nearly 200-square-mile unincorporated area surrounding Lake Elsinore and Wildomar.

Sheriff’s officials warned Friday that the massive cuts would affect manpower in unincorporated areas, and countywide would cut gang task force efforts, increase response times, have a negative impact on sexual predator arrests, reduce patrol aviation hours and force closure of several sheriff’s substations.

The Sheriff's Department estimates that the budget cuts, if approved as proposed, will force unincorporated patrol levels down to .75 per 1,000 residents. Currently, for every 1,000 residents there is one patrol.

"If any significant layoffs take place, it's going to be devastating,'' McNamara said. "Any amount of cuts in the law enforcement force is going to degrade public safety. Four hundred layoffs would be devastating, in our estimation, to sheriff's operations."

Under the supervisors proposed budget, Sniff is prepared to send out the  800 layoff notices starting July 1, according to sheriff's Corporal Courtney Donowho.

"The first wave of layoffs will involve 100 deputy sheriffs and correctional deputies that will end their duties on July 13,'' Donowho said, adding that notifications have already started to go out to the County HR Director and to the labor organization representing those staff members.

Notices to individual deputies will go out May 16, the corporal said.

“We will await the decision of the Board on what funding they ultimately approve next year for our department, and we will vigorously execute their decision as part of the County team," Sniff said. "We will professionally make the best of whatever outcome occurs, but we all understand that the budget reflects the public’s priority on how their taxpayer dollars are allocated and spent.” --City News Service and Jessica E. Davis contributed to this report.

J Carabine May 14, 2011 at 03:32 PM
I heard yesterday( from a sheriff) that Wildomar will be down to one sheriff. That is less than we had when I moved here 9 years ago ;(. This is not very good news for our area.
Mary Ann Mealey May 14, 2011 at 03:56 PM
Wildomar contracts their sheriffs. They will not be affected.
ms d May 14, 2011 at 04:24 PM
The Board of Supervisors should start cleaning up their own offices by letting go of their temps which have remained since layoffs started a couple of years ago! Furlough their hours and PAY and have them on the County Medical Plan. The whole board needs to be replaced with young intellent blood!
J Carabine May 14, 2011 at 04:26 PM
As long as Wildomar has the money to keep paying for two...but according to the one a family member talked to yesterday Wildomar will be affected.. one of them will be contracted out to another city. I do not have confirmation of that just what he was told.
Arjis May 14, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Many times during critical incidents Deputies and assets (helicopter, K9, SWAT, Sexual offenders compliance team, ect) from the unincorporated areas will come and assist the Wildomar Deputies (whenever you see the helicopter doing circles above Wildomar, the Deputies are likely chasing or looking for a suspect). Those assets will disappear as they are on the chopping block. Basically the Wildomar Deputies will become reactive responding to calls of crimes that have already occurred as opposed to proactive community policing. They say contract cities will be unaffected, but all communities will be affected by the reduction in resources.
Arjis May 14, 2011 at 04:38 PM
Wildomar has 2 Deputies on day shift, 3 on swings, 2 on graveyard. That will remain unless Wildomar changes it. What is likely to change is are the individual Deputies as there will be a lot of movement to realign the staffing for the laid off Deputies.
Rob May 14, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Incorporate, have a payroll where over 34% of the employees make over $100,000, where you can't vote them out and when you vote to limit their terms they hire an attorney, with tax payer dollars to assure the prop was legal. They will then put in red light cameras even though every study shows they simply need to e3xtend the yellow lights by 1.5 seconds, ala Loma Linda, to be safe.. The Bell.... errrrr Murrieta model.

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