BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward Sheriff Scott Israel says that if the county commission doesn't give his agency a significant increase in funding, then layoffs are coming to BSO.
The agency is facing a budget shortfall in excess of $30 million, sources say. While Israel said he couldn't provide information on the size of the deficit, he contacted Broward County commissioner on Friday to inform them of the problem -- and to ask them to find money in the county budget to fill the gap.
"For us not to get any more funding, personnel would have to be hit," said Israel, "and probably have to get hit pretty hard."
Last month, Israel asked for a $93 million budget increase and was denied by the commission. Commissioner Marty Kiar, a close Israel ally, said the county doesn't have much money for BSO and that he, like a majority of his colleagues, doesn't support a tax increase.
"I think [Israel] going to have to make some very tough decisions and I don't envy the sheriff," said Kiar.
"I am committed to work as hard and as long and as tirelessly as I can to make sure we never ever ever lay off anyone or put anyone on the unemployment in these hard economic times," Israel said.