County executive proposes cuts, fewer deputies for sheriff's department

Aiming to close a $60 million shortfall in the general fund, King County Executive Dow Constantine has proposed a $7.2 million cut in the 2011 budget for the King County Sheriff’s Office—the equivalent of 71 full-time positions.

The 9.5 percent reduction of the sheriff's budget means the layoffs of 28 deputies in the unincorporated areas.

Eight sergeants and four command staff members will be demoted and transferred back to patrol, and 51 detectives will be reassigned, most of them to driving a patrol car. Other public safety services that will be eliminated include: police storefronts, school resource officers, criminal intelligence, marine patrol, investigation of property crimes, homeland security, hazardous materials disposal, regional drug task forces, regional gang task forces, and many others.

The executive will outline all the cuts he must make to submit a balanced budget when he delivers his 2011 budget proposal on Monday, Sept. 27, in a speech before the Metropolitan King County Council.

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