Sonora, CA – The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office would be forced to cut 12.5 positions as part of the proposed County budget for next fiscal year.
Sheriff Jim Mele is preparing to cut $1.4 million. Mele sent out a memo to personnel on Monday stating, “The Board of Supervisors have stated several times publicly that law enforcement is a priority. While I am not saying that my office should not be hit with budget cuts, I am saying that if these proposals are passed I will be the first Sheriff in recent history that will be laying off staff.”
Mele estimates that the Sheriff’s Office will take on 28% of the county’s $5.1 million deficit. Four of the positions set to be cut are currently vacant. They include a Clerk, Lieutenant and two Deputies. Mele also plans to eliminate five Booking Clerks, a Lead Booking Clerk, Crime Scene Technician, Jail Deputy and a part-time Crime Scene Technician. Additionally, a Deputy would be transferred to the Bailiff position and one Detective would be demoted to a Deputy.
“With a loss of resources there must also be a loss of services,” writes Mele. “There will be many services that will be cut.” Mele adds that mandated costs (salary, benefits, workers comp, retirement, etc.) have gone up approximately $1.39 million.