$1.2 million cuts to Benton County Sheriff Department

BENTON COUNTY - It's more difficult to catch suspects like that when agencies are facing cutbacks. Benton County is plagued with a two-point-seven million dollar deficit. Half of that may come on the backs of the Sheriff's Department.

It means a loss of 13 positions through attrition. The department will hold off on buying new vehicles for another two years.

They're also limiting drive-times to conserve on fuel. The Sheriff tells KEPR safety could be jeopardized if similar cuts are made next time.

"I have a responsibility to keep our citizens safe and to make sure our deputies have good equipment and good training," said Benton County Sheriff Steve Keane.

It's possible the budget will be finalized December 18th after a public hearing. At that time, commissioners can make decreases to the budget..but no increases.