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Funding for Law Enforcement

March 18, 2001

* Re "County Chief Fights the Law and the Law Usually Wins," March 4.

The argument of Sheriff Bob Brooks and Dist. Atty. Michael Bradbury regarding funding for their departments, carried to its logical conclusion, simply calls for the elimination of all other county government functions. Why should any money be wasted on less essential operations when it could all go for the only vital purposes of policing and prosecuting?

County government would be the essence of simplicity and economy. Each year Brooks and Bradbury would sit down and decide what they needed for operations, set tax rates accordingly and it would be all set.

Oh, they would want to keep a few tax collectors around to pick up and deposit money, but no need for fire departments, medical facilities, sewage treatment plants or even a Board of Supervisors. (What a wonderful improvement the elimination of that group would be.)

So let's hear it for Sheriff Brooks and Dist. Atty. Bradbury! They have the simple answer to county operations--something everyone else tries to make out as complicated.

WILLIAM MERIT TRUE II

Port Hueneme

* I am a strong supporter of Sheriff Brooks. I don't think Ventura County knows how hard this man and his staff work.

County officials are always looking for a way to put the financial blame on the Sheriff's Department and the district attorney's office because they have "excess" funds. This is only because a very intelligent former sheriff, Larry Carpenter, found a way to continually support his department even when he knew he wouldn't be there down the line. Fed up with the lies and empty promises the county always offered, he secured his budget.

The people support the law enforcement agency of Ventura County. Just because the supervisors played god, thinking they would never get caught with their back-room mental health deals and their elaborate spending, now that it's catching up with them they have the nerve to cry foul and try to steal from the public once more by taking over the Sheriff's Department tax money when times get tough.

I'm one of those people who depend on that budget that the public said was worth spending its money for. My husband, our three children and I take the risk each day that he puts on his badge and goes out into our community in the name of law enforcement that it's worth it. There's no outrageous income.

We are blessed, but I don't think you know how many people you insult by making it seem as if we're laughing and ripping off the county with some huge income. My husband is proud of himself, my children are proud of their father and I'm proud of my husband.

Hurray for Sheriff Brooks. It's an uphill battle, but his employees and their families stand behind him.

SARAH JALATY

Oxnard

* Instead of slicing up the funding for the sheriff's and other law enforcement departments, the supervisors should look at all their unfilled positions reported in this newspaper months ago--the ones that would never actually be filled with live employees, enabling department heads to have lots of discretionary [funding] available for their individual use.

It was implied in past articles that this is traditional in annual budgeting. The elimination of those positions alone ought to reap more than enough money this year, and for years to come.

MARILYN ARNOLD

Simi Valley

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