Sheriff, D.A. seek extra budget funds

first_imgYaroslavsky said most of the money pays for increased salaries and benefits and rising costs for items like fuel, but $65 million is for new programs. “This is a 17 (percent) or 18 percent increase,” Yaroslavsky said. “That is the single largest increase in net county cost of investment in the Sheriff’s Department since I’ve been here.” But Baca said additional investment in the department will pay dividends in terms of a safer community. “My dream, and I believe the board’s dream, is to make this county as safe as possible so poor neighborhoods can have Starbucks, a Macy’s store and economic viability where people can get jobs,” Baca said. “In all my experiences in 41 years, these poor neighborhoods are not going to regain economic competition with affluent neighborhoods until the public safety issues are resolved.” The supervisors will decide later whether to approve the additional requests. troy.anderson@dailynews.com (213) 974-8985160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Although Los Angeles County’s proposed budget includes boosted funding for the Sheriff’s Department and Public Defender’s Office, officials argued Wednesday that even more is needed. District Attorney Steve Cooley told the Board of Supervisors that its proposed budget for his office is inadequate to deal with increased demand for services. “Although the public defender’s budget includes new positions for caseload growth and new courts, no additional resources have been recommended for my department … despite the fact that felony filings have increased 21 percent since 2001,” Cooley said. Cooley, who has requested an extra $9 million on top of his $327 million proposed budget, said new courts have opened recently in Van Nuys, Alhambra, Compton and two in the Antelope Valley. “There has been no budget recognition for these new courts,” Cooley said. “This situation forces the department to transfer staff from other work units to provide representation for the people.” Cooley requested the additional $9 million to provide mandated staffing for the new courts, to increase the number of captains in the Bureau of Investigation, expand staffing to address soaring identity-theft cases and to staff parole hearings for inmates serving life sentences, mostly for murder. Sheriff Lee Baca also requested an extra $150 million on top of his $2.3 billion proposed budget. He had originally requested $3 billion. The extra $150 million request would pay for more medical services and beds in overcrowded jails, a Gang Emergency Operations Center, more patrols in unincorporated areas, psychologists to help personnel deal with job stress and increased training. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said the department’s proposed budget increase – not including Baca’s new request – is already the largest in at least a decade. last_img read more