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Sheriff's Department Sees Healthy Budget Figures Over Last Three Years

Written By Editor on 9/19/13 | 9/19/13

Governments across the county have been trying to cut back costs, but with increasing health care premiums, insurance, and other factors, this is not always the case. Overall, spending across many governments have seen an increase in both nominal and inflation-adjusted dollars.

One exception to this has been the Sheriff's Department since Tony Desmond took office in 2009. The Sheriff has had much to deal with over the last three years, but the budget has remained steady under his term. The Department has acquired new equipment, such as the tactical response van seen around the County recently, but this purchase was set in motion by the last administration. Beyond this, there have been further budgetary constraints, such as the cost of moving prisoners and an office switch due to Irene.

Still, the numbers are healthy on the surface. Despite a reduction in the overall staff of the Department, Sheriff Desmond has fought against excessive cuts, especially due to the strains of Hurricane Irene. Overall, the Department has shrunk significantly. The law enforcement arm of the Department remains largely intact.

Year Sworn Personnel Civilian Personnel Total
2010 25 18 43
2011 22 19 41
2012 23 12 35

This comes as even higher costs are eating away at the margin. Between 2010 and 2012, the gas and oil costs of the Department have jumped considerably-- from $57,259 spent in 2010 to $88,000 budgeted in 2012. The Department has also significantly increased its spending on investigations.

Sheriff Desmond has been creative in utilizing the resources given to his office. The Department also has been able to step up road patrol with overtime pay. Desmond has also instituted a new sweep to keep marijuana out of the County. One area that he will not use Sheriff's resources toward is enforcing the NY SAFE Act, which he believes to be unconstitutional. Desmond has even given some back-- his own salary has been reduced by over $1,000 to $69,000 a year.

Sheriff Desmond has also been influential in garnering grants. His office received $25,000 from a line item of Senator Jim Seward earmarked for the TAC Force, which has been increasingly useful since Irene.

Overall, these changes have had an effect-- the Sheriff's budget is nearly the same as it was in 2010. It spent $1,250,522 that year and saw a dip for both 2011 and 2012. The 2013 budget is a scant 0.41% higher at $1,255,696. Still, the 2012 budget request that Sheriff Desmond submitted is in fact lower than the amount the County granted. Desmond's request was $1,221,452, 2.3% below the 2010 level and $18,000 lower than the 2012 budget.

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