Calif. sheriff’s office asks county supervisors for $35M more in next budget

A significant portion of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office’s budget increase would go toward salary and benefit increases

By Ariane Lange
The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office could get a $35 million funding boost from the county if the Board of Supervisors approves the agency’s budget proposal.

Citing “dire needs” in a document attached to the agenda packet, Sheriff Jim Cooper’s administration asked for the largest budget increase of any county department. The new homeless services unit came in second with a request for a $31 million increase, though that represented the total budget for that recently formed department.

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors is discussing the $8.4 billion budget proposal for the 2023-24 fiscal year this week.

Presentations on the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office were scheduled for Wednesday, along with updates on the Mays Consent Decree, which dictates the terms the county must follow to improve conditions at the two county jails. Other county departments, including health and homeless services, were also expected to give their fiscal year requests. Public comment follows the presentations.

The total proposed budget for the Sheriff’s Office is $561,028,425, which would be an increase of 6.7%.

A significant portion of the Sheriff’s Office’s budget increase would go toward salary and benefit increases. Around $3.6 million would go toward attempting to bring the county into compliance with the Mays Consent Decree. That 2019 settlement came out of a lawsuit that said the jails overused solitary confinement and did not provide adequate medical and mental health care to incarcerated people, among other concerns.

As part of its stated strategy for addressing homelessness in the county, the Sheriff’s Office asked for $500,000 to increase its capacity to sweep vehicles considered abandoned or inoperable. The new funding source, the proposal said, would allow deputies to “remove three times as many abandoned, wrecked or inoperative trailers, motor homes, and boats which may otherwise cause or lead to further crimes, fire hazards, rodent and insect infestation and reduction in property value.”

The sheriff also requested a cellphone tracking device — the Octasic Nyxcell system — and a vehicle to transport it, at a cost of $1.2 million.

The budget proposal suggests spending $20,000 on an annual social media management software subscription, which would allow the Sheriff’s Office to manage posts across platforms and monitor trending topics.

©2023 The Sacramento Bee.
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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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