Floyd Co. Sheriff says budget cuts could hurt public safety - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Floyd Co. Sheriff says budget cuts could hurt public safety

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"We can't let public safety suffer," said Sheriff Loop, who took office in January. "We can't let public safety suffer," said Sheriff Loop, who took office in January.

FLOYD COUNTY, Ind. (WDRB) -- Floyd County Sheriff Frank Loop says he plans to go in front of the county council on Tuesday, asking for more time to go over proposed budget cuts.

"We can't let public safety suffer," said Sheriff Loop, who took office in January.

His department serves 75,000 people in the county and he says the employees who work for him have not had a raise in more than 12 years.

"Just last week I lost three employees within a day or two because they can find jobs out in the community that make more than we can pay them," said Loop.

Loop says the Floyd County Council wants to cut about $1.2 million from its budget, and, to do that, it needs money from his department.

"I have ideas where I can save the county money but midstream they say 'hey we want to cut your budget', and yea I think that's very frustrating," Loop told WDRB.

If he's forced to make cuts, Loop says there could be fewer officers on the streets and response times would go up.

"We're operating on bare bones now," he said.

Loop says the jail, built more than 20 years ago, has never been maintained -- there are tarps on the roof and water and plumbing problems. The jail also averages about 300 inmates and serves nearly 1,000 meals a day.

"So our kitchen is in constant use, our laundry is in constant use, and those things wear out," said Loop.

Floyd County Council President Matt Oakley says the sheriff, judges, and prosecutor all asked for 30-day extensions to make their cuts.

"We've done the best job we can prioritizing county government and making those cuts," said Oakley.

Oakley says the $20,000 they're asking the sheriff to find is minimal to his overall budget.

"The sheriff's budget is somewhere in the $5 million range that he spends each year in his budget,” said Oakley, “So -- percentage wise -- under half a percent.”

But Loop says it's not just about his department. The prosecutor's office and probation face a combined cut of more than $110,000.

"If you're going to reduce the number of probation officers, then you're going to have more people who are going to have less supervision that should be getting watched," said Loop.

If the sheriff must cut he says he'll get the job done as best he can.

On Tuesday the sheriff will ask for more time to go over the cuts. He says he'll also propose other places where the council can find the money.

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