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California Overtime Pay Is the First of Budget Cuts at Sheriff's Office

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Los Angeles, CAForced to trim more than $128 billion from his department's annual budget, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has imposed a series of cost-cutting measures, including slashing the inmate population and cutting back on California overtime pay.

A recent audit found that the Sheriff's Department consistently exceeded its annual overtime budget by an average of 104 percent, or $83 million a year, in each of the past five years, according to the Contra Costa Times.

To help curb the overtime costs, Baca has proposed sending senior command officers and supervisors out on patrol, allowing the more experienced lawmen to perform tasks that would typically fall to deputies earning overtime pay.

"You are going to have [command staff] going back out on patrol - doing shifts at stations - and wherever they are needed to fill slots that would otherwise be done by deputies working overtime," said Steve Whitmore, a representative of the Sheriff's office. "The sheriff said everyone must sacrifice during these tough budget times."

Other planned budget cuts include reducing the number of inmates at the Castaic jail and relocating nonessential personnel.

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