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State Budget Crunch Likely To Affect Law Enforcement

Sonora, Ca — With the state budget deficit now projected to grow to $28 billion, Tuolumne County Sheriff Jim Mele fears that there could be cuts coming to public safety in the near future.

Mele says it possible that the Small and Rural Sheriff´s Grant Program will be cut entirely, which supplies $500,000, and has helped the department purchase vehicles and equipment.

Booking fees, which are currently paid by the state, may be soon be the responsibility of local law enforcement agencies.

COPS funding, which helps provide front line law enforcement services for smaller counties, is also facing a likely cut.

?It is not a pretty picture, so we are trying to be proactive,? says Mele. ?Our department has made some cuts, and has been looking at ways to save money.?

Written by BJ Hansen