Sheriff's office to delay hiring, vehicle purchases

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The Columbia County Sheriff's Office hopes to deflect more than $500,000 in 2008-09 budget cuts by delaying hires and vehicle purchases, officials say.

"Public safety will not be impacted," sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said Thursday. "We will continue to deliver the level of law enforcement services our citizens deserve and expect."

A state revenue shortfall and Gov. Sonny Perdue's freeze on a tax grant program helped squeeze the county's spending plans. The sheriff's office eliminated nearly $360,000 from its $13 million annual budget by holding the line on the hires and vehicles. The same steps were used to cut nearly $190,000 from the county Detention Center's approximately $7.5 million budget, Capt. Morris said.

The trims to the sheriff's office and Detention Center budgets were the largest cuts by any Columbia County department.

County commissioners approved more than $1.26 million in cuts this week to help make up the loss of $1.45 million in state funding caused by Mr. Perdue's freeze of the Homestead Tax Relief Grant.

Commissioners asked each county department to trim 2.61 percent from its budgets.

"Looking at the two budgets, the only way to cut the amount requested is by cutting manpower and CIP (capital improvements)," according to a sheriff's office internal memo.

The memo suggested that the sheriff's office can save $87,600 by delaying four new hires. It also stated the sheriff's office can save thousands more by delaying the purchase of more than 20 vehicles, including golf carts used for perimeter patrols, maintenance trucks and a recording system for the county courthouse and a metal storage building.

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.

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Tujeez
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Tujeez 11/21/08 - 01:52 am
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When the Law Enforcement

When the Law Enforcement budget is low, do what Green County does. Line the Deputies up on the I-20 overpasses and make up the difference. There are always PLENTY of happy speeders just waiting to shore up the budget.

wildman
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wildman 11/21/08 - 05:26 am
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Take away Ron "Double" Cross

Take away Ron "Double" Cross and his Band of Bandits travel money and keep the sheriff's office fully staffed.

55 F-100
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55 F-100 11/21/08 - 07:46 am
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UNCLE BS, your screen name

UNCLE BS, your screen name certainly exemplifies your moronic comment. One-half of the travel money was taken from the money seized during the Augusta INK investigation, and the other half of the travel money was supplied by the Chiefs of Police association who presented the award. Go ahead and open up your second "40" for breakfast, and find something else to complain about, but next time get your facts straight.

change display name
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change display name 11/21/08 - 12:28 pm
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I guess the guys living

I guess the guys living outside the county will have to keep driving their own cars even though gas costs less than half of what is was when their cars were taken.

moneyman1035
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moneyman1035 11/21/08 - 12:30 pm
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Columbia County Sheriffs

Columbia County Sheriffs office, my moma told me if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all...................................

moneyman1035
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moneyman1035 11/21/08 - 12:34 pm
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I have heard from more than

I have heard from more than one or two, that the CSO will get behind someone who is driving late night and swerve to try and make them swerve then when the car in front does, they pull them over and give them a drunk driving ticket... then I also seen them gang up on a 17 year old trying to get him to confess to something that didnt happen..... I think some restraint is needed with them.

heartablazing
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heartablazing 11/21/08 - 01:11 pm
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moneyman You do not get a

moneyman You do not get a drunk driving ticket any where in Ga. You go straight to jail! But first there has to be reasonable suspicion to arrest you for that. This is why officers give you a field sobriety test. If you fail that you go to jail to be given a breathalizer. If you refuse these tests you automatically loose your liscense for a period up to six months.

wildman
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wildman 11/21/08 - 09:30 pm
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55, thanks for the

55, thanks for the compliment.

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