Here's more on the local law enforcement programs that could be at risk during Pacific County's ongoing budget reductions.
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER Wellsprings Group could default in the grant our office helped with as we may not be able to participate as planned due to potential staff reductions
This one is really tragic. We are working not only to effectively halt criminal behavior through arrests, but knowing the real keys to success is partnering in prevention with our schools. We recently presented a series of assemblies at Ilwaco High School. We gave students a free trip through the criminal justice system by watching the consequences of poor decisions with drugs. We got great feedback from the students. I really would have to be forced by budget constraints to walk away from perhaps our best opportunity for long term success.
K-9 DRUG DOG Not as feasible with reductions, generating significant overtime in the Patrol Division
May not be able to stay within budget with this additional overtime burden
SPECIAL EVENT COVERAGE ? Fourth of July coverage issues
? Rod Run coverage issues
These events bring much revenue into our county. We need to be able to ensure a safe environment for tourists as well as those of us who call Pacific County home during all events and festivals.
INCREASED OVERTIME The amount of overtime generated by staffing losses would surpass projected savings. Overtime expenses are almost always mandated responses to criminal acts and cannot be entirely controlled.
Presently, we cannot compel off-duty officers to answer call out requests by phone. Thus, staffing emergencies for responses will occur.
If you cut staff to save money and cannot respond in some areas it inconveniences the public. A lack of a mandated response means far more than inconvenience.
CALL PRIORITIZATION ? It will be necessary to further limit response
? Extreme reduction to property crimes of all types - personal, residential, and business-related
This is a nightmare for me. You all deserve the statutory protections guaranteed by law. Lack of adequate resources forces me to choose which essential need to fill and which to ignore at both of our perils.
MANDATED SERVICES WE'RE UNABLE TO REFUSE ? Corrections - including medical
? Emergency Management, including both emergency response and clerical support for grant acquisition
? Court security, if ordered
? Certain criminal responses
? Training (WAC requires minimum 24 hours training per FTE for patrol staff)
I'm going to do my best to inform you how the budget appropriation provided by the Board of County Commissioners will affect our existing service delivery. If you are concerned about maintaining public safety at a high level and want further information I'll be happy to talk with you. My direct office number is 875-9405 (North County) or 642-9405 (South County) or e-mail me at email@example.com.
Last week at our budget workshop, the board of county commissioners asked "why" to the funding request we put forward for 2010. We answered those questions in detail. We demonstrated and discussed the reasons we've accomplished so much in the last 10 years. The teamwork that we've shown working together to prioritize public safety for your benefit has always been evident to you, I believe, and illustrates the value of continually looking for new improved ways to accomplish our goals.
I am confident in the validity and baseline necessity of our total request. I would be happy to discuss this with any group or individual and explain why I feel that any forced reduction in staff would be disastrous for the public's safety.