The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is anticipating a $3.7 million deficit in its current yearly budget, according to a sheriff’s department press release.
The deficit accumulated from several unique occurrences, including projected salary and benefits costs paid out to new deputies staffed to replace an unusually high number of retirees leaving later this year. In addition, less revenue from Proposition 172 – a one-half cent state sales tax enacted in 1993 to provide funds for public safety services – than expected coupled with $676,000 paid overtime for major crimes and disasters earlier this year forced the department to request a budget augmentation from the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors. The board approved an additional $3.4 million for the sheriff’s department budget so that officers would have the resources to continue serving the public without financial hindrances, the report said.
The press release also said that it would take action to offset the deficit by not filling several management vacancies temporarily. The sheriff’s department projects savings through these measures of $318,000 for the current fiscal year.