Clark County sheriff faces nearly $2M in cuts

Three town hall meetings set for early November

The Clark County government office building in Vancouver (KOIN 6 News, file)
The Clark County government office building in Vancouver (KOIN 6 News, file)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — A proposed Clark County budget cut of nearly $2 million to the sheriff’s office may prompt the closure of the Central Precinct, Sheriff Chuck Atkins said.

Town Halls: 630pm to 8pm
> November 3: Three Creeks Community Library
800 NE Tenney Road, Salmon Creek
> November 9: Camas Public Library
625 NE 4th Avenue, Camas
> November 10: Battle Ground Community Center
912 E Main Street, Battle Ground

The 2017-18 budget proposed by County Manager Mark McCauley slashes $1.87 million from the sheriff’s office. While it does include money for one-time expenses, the cuts come from the sheriff’s overall operating budget.

In a statement, Atkins said he’ll need to consider “the complete closure of our Central Precinct, suspending expansion of our jail re-entry program, cancelling our reserve deputy and citizen academies over the next two years, and cutting other services.”

McCauley told KOIN 6 News in a statement he understands how tough it is to cut a budget. But the sheriff’s office, he said, has a $112.5 million budget — 35% of the county’s general fund.

The Clark County Sheriff's Office Central Precinct, October 25, 2016 (KOIN)
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office Central Precinct, October 25, 2016 (KOIN)

“Of the $1.87 million proposed to be cut from the Sheriff’s budget, $1.3 million of it is related to the loss of a contract to manage records for the Vancouver Police Department. The proposed $1.3 million cut is only half the revenue the county has lost with the end of that contract,” he said in his statement.

“Departments other than the Sheriff’s Office are proposing to take cuts that represent a greater percentage of their budgets. Still other departments have nothing to cut. We’re down to bone. The fat is long gone,” McCauley added.

Departments that report to McCauley, he said, collectively are absorbing a 4.1% cut in this proposed budget.

Three town hall meetings about this plan will be held in early November.

KOIN 6 News will have more information later in the day.