Ottawa County Sheriff's Office Facing Budget Cuts

Thursday, January 2nd 2020, 10:33 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

The sheriff in Ottawa County said he is fed up and tired of being told he must keep cutting as his budget keeps decreasing.

Commissioners told Sheriff Floyd if he spends more than he's budgeted for, he'll have to dip into his own pockets to pay up. He said enough is enough.

Ottawa County Sheriff Jeremy Floyd said 2019 was a tough year for him.

He said in the three years he's been sheriff, county commissioners cut his budget more and more, and along with other jail issues, an electric fire in October forced inmates to move.

"This past year has been more difficult with the budget than any," Floyd said. "Earlier this year they put a restriction on me for payroll."

Floyd said his payroll budget was $400,000 less than last fiscal year.

District attorney Kenny Wright said the sheriff overspent in the past and commissioners want to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"The sheriff's payroll has been slightly exceeding what his allocation is," said Wright.

Floyd said he had to pay to fix plumbing and other issues just to get the jail up to code.

He said he had more than 60 employees when he took office in 2016 but was forced to lay off employees to save cash.

"Now we're operating with a staff in the 20s, which leaves me with one investigator, one deputy a shift, myself and the undersheriff - and a deputy for transports and courts," Floyd said.

last month county commissioners told Floyd if he went over budget he would have to pay expenses out of his own pocket.

"If you make a purchase you can be held personally responsible for that," said Wright.

Floyd, who's already concerned about only having one deputy patrolling each shift, said cutting more staff would cause a public safety issue.

"Something has got to give here," Floyd said. "The people of this county have to pay for this."

"Hopefully we'll come up with a longer-term goal to get our deputies up," Wright said.

Floyd said he may be forced to take legal action.

"I've had it easier fighting criminals in the street than our own county government," said Floyd.

County commissioners meet again on Monday.

Wright said they don't plan to discuss this issue specifically, but the residents can come and speak.

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