Perry County sheriff plans to lay off four deputies - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Perry County sheriff plans to lay off four deputies

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PERRY COUNTY (WSIL) -- Four full-time patrol deputies will need to find new work by the end of the month. Perry County Sheriff Steve Bareis announced May 14 he plans to make the layoffs due to a recently proposed county budget that, if approved, would cut $500,000 from his office. 

Kenneth Graskewicz has lived in Perry County his whole life and is well aware of the financial crisis it's facing. He believes bad planning has been happening for years and that's why he can't blame Bareis. 

"He had no choice, I guess. You can't keep something that you can't pay for," explains the 79 year old. 

Although Graskewicz is not concerned about safety due to decreased patrols, other residents, like Richard Blakely, are. 

Blakely's worried about those who live in rural areas, "It's going to be a problem. You need the police out in the county all the time on patrol taking care of what happens." 

He's not alone. Janet Poling expects it to take longer for deputies to respond to calls, "They will not get their calls answered because there's not enough officers to work for the county if they cut back."

Poling fears that the remaining patrol staff, which will consist of the sheriff and 5 deputies, will be overworked, "They will not be able to do their work properly... the way it should be handled... if they are overtired, overstressed." 

Poling adds that her heart goes out to the deputies who had to be let go, "They either have to leave the area to get another job or suffer from lack of work, lack of money."

Bareis said he tried to implement a 32 hour work-week instead of layoffs, but union members voted it down.

At this point, the jail and dispatch will remain open, but there could be layoffs for deputies working in the jail.

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