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Council Uneasy Over Sheriff’s Budget Request

(Philadelphia City Hall.  Credit: Timothy McLaughlin)

(Philadelphia City Hall. Credit: Timothy McLaughlin)

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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City Council members are voicing reservations about the Philadelphia Sheriff’s request for a 25-percent budget increase at a time when other departments are belt-tightening.

Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams, who was sworn in to his first term this past January, went before City Council this past week asking for a budget boost from the current $12.3 million dollars to $15.7 million – nearly three and a half million dollars more.

Williams says it’s needed in part for additional staff.

“The criminal courthouses are a mess. You have over 40 court rooms that are not being serviced in a proper manner. And that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make sure that we have deputies for every court room.”

But Council members like Maria Quinones Sanchez were clearly not sold.

“In the years that I’ve been here, this office has come to us and been over their budget continuously, year in and year out. And we want to be proactive; we need some justification for this type of request. It’s a big request. This is not a small number.”

City officials estimate that the Sheriff’s office is already more than one million dollars over budget for the current fiscal year that ends June 30th.

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