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Riverside Co. public safety cuts expected

April 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Riverside County officials have unveiled the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and the news isn't good. The county stands to cut about 1,000 jobs, and a lot of those cuts will come from public safety. Many economic experts here have been predicting for quite some time that the recovery from the economic doldrums will be slowest in the area of jobs as the state, the county and cities deal with keeping things going with a loss of income. And that theory appears to be holding true in Riverside County, and the picture released Friday is not a good one.

Riverside County's General Fund is expected to sink 14 percent in the next 12 months because of the reduction in property-tax receipts, sales taxes, and interest income.

The proposed budget released Friday by the county calls for department heads to reduce spending 10 percent in the 2009-10 fiscal year.

Unless some unusual, innovative steps are taken, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department could lose 588 positions; the District Attorney's office, 110 positions; the County Fire Dept., 89 positions. These three departments draw the biggest percentage from the county's general fund. They would have the most difficult time grappling with a 10-percent cut.

The news of the impending cuts has been circulating for some time, and it appears that all agencies in the county's vast system will suffer a loss of some jobs.

There was no official available to talk with Eyewitness News about the situation Friday. Things have been slow here in the administrative center on Friday for quite some time, as a way of saving money.

Department heads have been working on the idea of where they can save money for quite some time.

They will bring their ideas to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors on May 10, where they'll vote on the budget.