After two years of deep cuts in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, county supervisors will add millions of dollars to the beleaguered department next week, reports the Los Angeles Times. The cuts has cost Sheriff Lee Baca about 1,200 deputies, closed two jails, and led to the early release of thousands of inmates. Yesterday, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who has blocked proposals to increase Baca’s funding, said the sheriff has earned the board’s confidence with cost-cutting measures and deserves more money. Yaroslavsky may support putting a sales tax measure on the November ballot to help fund law enforcement.
Over two years, the department lost $166.8 million, cutting the number of deputies from from 9,400 to 8,200. Homicide rates in the unincorporated county rose 12 percent in the last year. Five inmates have been killed at downtown jails since October. The killings, including one involving a witness allegedly slain by the man he testified against, seems to have particularly troubled supervisors, the Times says.