Sheriff Says Tight Revenues Will Force Tough Decisions
Laramie County Sheriff Danny Glick says declining revenues caused by low energy prices will face his department to "tighten it's belt" and make some tough decisions..
The sheriff says that's true not only for his department and not only for law enforcement, but for a variety of governmental agencies across Wyoming.
A recent state report said severance tax revenues for Wyoming for the first two months of Fiscal Year 2016--July and August--were down by 39.4 percent. The same report showed state sales tax collections for the first three months of the fiscal year were down by 14.5 percent.
A separate report is projecting the state will collect $618 million less in revenues over the next three years than expected. Local governments across the state, including the city of Cheyenne, are also collecting less money over the last few months because of the stagnant economy.
State economist Jim Robinson has said he doesn't expect the state economy to pick up much until prices for oil and natural gas show significant improvement.
Sheriff Glick says that because of the state's reliance on mineral revenues for much of the money to fund government operations, 'boom and bust cycles are nothing new", adding ''it's always tough" when the money gets tight.
But he also says "we'll get through it", adding exactly how that will happen won't be known until specific decisions on belt-tightening at the department are made.The sheriff notes his department is already understaffed, and says department employees may have to work overtime to pick up the slack.
But he says the good news for his agency is that the inmate population at the Laramie County jail has been fairly stable and overcrowding hasn't been an issue, so the potential costs of housing extra inmates probably won't be a problem.
The sheriff's departments in Wyoming counties are charged with operating county jails under state law.