Kankakee Sheriff Warns of Layoff Impact

Layoff notices issued to 40 officers; Nine other positions eliminated

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Nearly 50 positions face layoffs or outright elimination. NBC Chicago's Susan Carlson reports for the NBC 5 NEWS at NOON on May 20, 2014, (Published Tuesday, May 20, 2014)

    Kankakee County Sheriff Timothy Bukowski said Tuesday there will likely be dire consequences if dozens of his deputies and corrections officers are laid off.

    Citing budget concerns, county board members earlier this month voted to layoff 20 deputies and 20 corrections officers. Six other correctional employees, one administrative person, and two deputies have already or will soon lose their jobs.

    At a press briefing Tuesday morning, Bukowski warned the cuts and layoffs would negatively impact the safety of residents and the remaining officers. With a reduction in resources for monitoring offenders, sex crimes could increase.

    Bukowski said his department, which covers the county's 684 square miles, was reduced from 67 officers to 54 just four years ago. The new budget cuts would bring that number to 32.

    Without action, the layoffs will take effect in July. Bukowski said he's hoping to find addtional revenue to keep the officers.

    "This county board is ridiculous," resident Tim Hults said on Facebook when the layoffs were announced.

    Many people have called for the county board, with 28 members, to be downsized instead of public safety officers.