Local Sheriff's Upset at Proposed Crime Fighting Funding Cuts
Federal funds could be slashed

Story Created: Aug 30, 2011 PDT

Story Updated: Aug 30, 2011 at 7:17 PM PDT
Two local Sheriffs and a member of Congress sound off about funding cuts that could effect crime fighting locally. The proposal could specifically target efforts to deal with illegal immigrants who are committing crimes while they are in the U.S.

Current legislation would cut back the funds and make it harder to keep those criminals behind bars. The financial burden is on the local agencies.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown says only partial reimbursement is paid back by the federal government and to lose it all under the proposed plan would be a tremendous hardship. "Without it we would have another huge problem on our hands," said Brown.

Speaking at a press conference in Orcutt, Congresswoman Lois Capps stood with Brown and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson and said, "immigration is a federal responsibility. The burden of incarcerating people here without documentation should have a balance from the federal government."

The local message here is expected to be repeated in counties across the nation.

"They need to hear this from us. They need to see the impacts and they need to understand the impacts that we are having locally as well, " said Parkinson. He also worried that funding cuts would effect the mental health care some inmate receive.. "We have an extreme number of mental health patients in custody now," said Parkinson.

Senior Reporter John Palminteri has our story.