Carson City Sheriff’s Department may lose 21 positions, which includes 12 deputies |

Carson City Sheriff’s Department may lose 21 positions, which includes 12 deputies

F.T. Norton

In a memorandum sent to city supervisors Tuesday, Sheriff Ken Furlong outlined a 5 percent cut to his budget that would save the city more than $756,000 and jobs for 13 people.

The city manager earlier this week asked Furlong to look at cutting his budget by 10 percent, eliminating 23 positions.

“Going beyond 5 percent devastates law enforcement as we know it in (our) programs and practices. We are already a lean department in staffing,” he said.

Furlong said 90 percent of his department’s budget goes to salaries.

By cutting supplies and services, he was able to come up with a plan that, under a 10-percent cut, would eliminate 21 positions: 12 deputies, one administrative position, four civilians in the jail, two dispatchers and two civil division positions. The four jail positions would then be filled by patrol officers, making the impact to cops on the street even greater.

And because of contracts, the cuts would come from lower-paying slots.

“When you are cutting positions by seniority, you are cutting the least-salaried positions, which means you have to cut more to reach your percentage,” Furlong said.

Furlong’s proposal for 5-percent cuts would result in 10 layoffs.

The department currently has 147 employees; 99 of those are sworn officers.

“I have cut everything from coffee to carpet mats. We are cutting to the bone, to the point where I am extraordinarily uncomfortable,” Furlong said. “We are saving employees but I’m just dying for supplies. We are taking every suggestion that people are coming up with and pursuing those suggestions.”

The proposed city budget will be presented March 18 to supervisors, who could pass it as presented or modify it.

All department heads throughout the city were directed in December to cut 10 percent from their budgets to address a nearly $8 million deficit caused mainly by declining sales tax revenues.

“They said 30 positions are to be cut out of the city, and 23 of them are mine,” said Furlong. “I do have the biggest department. I do have the biggest budget, but I cannot cut law enforcement. It will decimate us.”

The city has about 600 employees and about 18 departments. Furlong’s department operates on a $15.8 million budget of the city’s total $60 million expense budget.

A tentative budget is due to the state’s Department of Taxation by April 15 and a final budget is due May 15.