Hamilton County Commissioners are navigating the budget process for next year. No decisions have been made but they're already responding to comments from outgoing Sheriff Simon Leis that they plan to gut his department.
Leis threatens proposed cuts would mean laying off employees and reducing space at the overcrowded county jail.
Commissioner Chris Monzel says public safety is a top priority.
“We are not about to gut the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and leave the streets of Hamilton County unsafe. Putting together our budget is a process. We have just begun that process. We certainly face huge challenges this year. This commission has for the past number of years but we will all place public safety at the top of our list,” he says.
Commissioner Todd Portune echoes those sentiments.
“No single department has ever been gutted in any budget that I’ve been involved in nor will they this year. Certainly not our public safety services,” he says.
Commissioners begin budget meetings with all county department heads next month.
Find out more about the budget process here.