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Sheriff’s Department Facing Million Dollar Cutback

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Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Sheriff´s Department is facing a six percent or $1.07 million reduction in its 2008-2009 budget.

According to Sheriff Jim Mele the training budget will be cut by 25 percent. That comes dangerously close to falling out of compliance with state mandated training requirements.

For several years the Office has not been able to fill the school resource position and with the proposed reductions to patrol personnel the presence in local schools will be minimal if that.

The highly regarded Tuolumne Narcotics Team (TNT) is losing four of its seven positions while the Mexican Drug Trafficking Cartel continues to escalate its presence in the county.

Response times will be increased because of the loss of part-time employees that have handled non-priority type calls.

The Office´s management team will have to cut one captain and one lieutenant´s position.

Sheriff Jim Mele states that his entire staff remains dedicated to providing the county with the best possible law enforcement agency given these steep cutbacks.

Written by Bill Johnson