Leis: Forecasted budget will make sheriff's department 'inept'

CINCINNATI - You could tell Sheriff Simon Leis wasn't looking forward to his turn in front of the Hamilton County commissioners, as he looked down at his presentation, rubbing his forehead.

They wanted his feedback on the forecasted 2012 budget and what the cuts outlined would mean to public safety.

As always, the sheriff didn't mince words.

"With these cuts the sheriff's department may become inept," he tells the commissioners.

The two biggest causalities he sees; 29 layoffs in the patrol division, which he says brings "issues of officers and public safety to the forefront."

He also sees big cuts to the jail; losing 44 corrections officers.

"Which in essence means, I will close three floors in one of the buildings, reducing the inmate population by 224 inmates."

While the commissioners got the message, saying they "cannot allow" such an outcome, Todd Portune said their choices were pretty slim.

"We're between rock, and hard place, and everything else bad in between," he says.

But, to ease the $3.8 million cut to Leis' department, everyone else from trash pickup to the coroner's office will have to dig a little deeper.

"We're looking at a lot of different options on how we can collaborate with other governments to pool resources," says Portune, "to share services, to consolidate operations and work together."

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