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Dane Co. Exec. Kathleen Falk, Dane Co. Sheriff Gary Hamblin Reach Accord on 2004 Sheriff’s Department Budget

For more information contact:

Sharyn Wisniewski (608) 267-8823

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9/29/2003

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and Dane County Sheriff Gary Hamblin today announced agreement on the Sheriff’s Department’s budget for 2004.

“We both have our citizens’ best interest at heart,” said Falk. “This agreement protects public safety and holds the line on spending.”

Hamblin said, “This agreement will allow the Dane County Sheriff’s Office to continue the level of service that Dane County residents expect from their law enforcement agency. Public safety will not be compromised.”

Spending for the Sheriff’s department is part of the executive’s overall budget that Falk will present to the County Board October 1.

A key concern voiced earlier by Sheriff Hamblin was the need for funds to serve the growing number of inmates in the county jail. In addition to inmates held on county violations, the jail holds, on average, about 156 state prisoners who, while out on probation or parole, violated terms of their probation or parole.

As part of today’s agreement, the state Department of Corrections will be required to remove from the county jail, those state prisoners for whom the state reimburses Dane County. That group is made up of inmates who can legally be housed in state institutions.

This will decrease the average daily population of the jail by about 47 inmates. This saves the county money because the state only reimburses the county $37 per day for housing the inmates, while it costs the county $60 per day.

More importantly, the removal of these state inmates will reduce the need for Dane County to ship inmates to other jail facilities during 2004, which costs about $55 per day. It both frees up jail space and valuable deputy time that had been used in transporting inmates between facilities.

Other terms of the agreement include:
· The purchase of 20 new squad cars now, to be financed over two years
· No cuts in deputies, and the county’s hiring freeze will exempt all sheriff’s deputies, and jail personnel including clerical, jail clerks and sheriff’s aides
· $1.5 million in the capital budget to plan and design a new Huber / AODA facility for inmates who are let out on work-release, and for inmates undergoing treatment for alcohol and other drug abuse problems
· Budget line item adjustments to cover uncontrollable increases in areas such as electricity and contractual obligations
· A six-week delay in the hiring of sergeants and lieutenants
· Cutting one clerk-typist in the support services area

Falk will announce her full 2004 executive budget for all the county’s 32 departments on Wednesday.

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