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Humboldt County Sheriff's Office warns of 41 potential layoffs without requested funding

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office.{ }{p}{/p}
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office.

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On Monday, multiple Humboldt County department officials continued budget presentations, including the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, which warns of possible layoffs.

Humboldt County continues to navigate around a potential $12.9 million budget deficit for the next fiscal year.

"We have a significant budget gap there that we've had to absorb, because of the lack of general fund increase," Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said. "The sheriff's office is requesting an ongoing $5.8 million of general fund contribution to staff the public administrator's office to avoid laying off 41 positions closing the swamp farm and closing the willow creek station."

The HCSO was one of nine county departments on Monday presenting their budget requests.

The department points out, the divisions that would be most impacted include patrol operations, custody services, and the coroner/public administrator. Additionally, Honsal said the Garberville, McKinleyville, and Willow Creek satellite stations are at risk of closing. Deputies would continue to patrol the area, but the closure of these substations would mean the loss of administrative positions.

"Without those administrative secretaries, we would have closed those stations to the public," Honsal said.

Of all the potential layoffs, 34 patrol operations positions are at risk without additional funding. Positions Honsal said are essential to serving the community.

"I understand that you only have, you know, limited resources. So you're going to have to make priorities, but I encourage you to prioritize public safety," Honsal said to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors.

Historically, the Sheriff's Office has had the biggest draw of the county's general fund. Some of the other departments requesting additional funding in the same meeting include the Auditor-Controller, County Administrative Office, and Public Works.

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