Wayne County Commission considers cuts to Sheriff's Office

Wayne County Sheriff's Office is $31 million over budget, County Commission needs to make cuts somewhere


DETROIT – The Wayne County Commission is scrambling to find ways to balance its budget and it's targeting the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.

According to Wayne County records, the overtime costs paid in April on the new jail project was $1.5 million dollars. That's 1/2 a million dollars more than last year.

The Wayne County Commission has an agreement with the state to start slashing and working on a deficit reduction plan in the county. The Commission wants more from Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

Sheriff's Office is now $31 million over budget. One of the budget drains is the new Wayne County jail.

"Everybody is going to work in the jail. We're cutting all other outside programs, projects, things that are nice and fun, but we just can't afford to do right now based on the deficit that he's running," said Wayne County Commissioner Laura Cox.

The county commission is trumping the sheriff's rather meager budget cutting efforts.

For instance, the Sheriff proposed $7 million in cuts for the year, but the Commission has proposed $20 million in cuts. The Sheriff also wanted to cut or adjust five areas of his budget, but the Commission wants to change 23 items.

Some possible cuts coming include 10 of the sheriff's appointees, 40 full time employees, and proposed civilization of several departments.

Commissioner Cox said she thinks the cuts are "more courageous."

Sheriff Benny Napoleon told Local 4 that it's his job to take care of public safety and he feels he is not budgeted properly to do that.

The Wayne County Commission could vote on the budget changes in just a couple weeks.

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