Law Enforcement Bit by Budget

By: Erin Tate
By: Erin Tate

Warner's plan for now is "less funding but no lay-offs." Virginia's budget is locked behind bars and the state is leaking less money to those who are keeping it safe.

"This will definitely be the most challenging budget we've tried to put together," says Rockingham County Sheriff Don Farley.

Farley says his department has already lost $100,000 in state operating expenses. And now, Warner is asking Virginia State Police and local sheriffs to cut their budgets by five percent without laying anyone off.

For Farley's staff of 175, that means two years without a pay raise. And for state inmates, that means $200,000 less in services.

"We're mandated to meet certain health and safety standards and I will always meet those, but I'm not going to go above and beyond those when it comes to the budget," says Farley.

Local, state and federal funds go toward prisoners' "per diem" - that is food, medicine and maintenance of the jail's facilities.

A majority of the 300 some inmates at the county jail are to be subsidized by the state, but now the Commonwealth can't afford it.

"The government is asking local governments to pick up the expense and this is something I disagree with because the General Assembly is the one mandating these regulations and now they're saying we can't fund the regulations that we've set," says Farley.

Usually, the state pays $8 per inmate per day. Now, the county is being asked to pick up some of that slack and it looks like nine or more percent less than normal.

Farley says the public won't feel the effects of these cuts, but he says he hopes this is where Warner will draw the line.


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