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Sheriff's Department Is Committed to Safety

June 28, 2002

Re "Sheriff Baca's Power Play," editorial, June 26: The public knows who is in charge of providing public safety services directly as well as indirectly to the 10 million people of Los Angeles County.

The early release of prisoners is not a decision made lightly. It most assuredly is not a "power play." I do not play politics with the safety of the people I am committed to protect. I do empathize with the difficult decisions the Board of Supervisors is facing during these tough budget times. My immediate goal is to live within my county budget. It's important to note that of our budget of more than $1.5 billion, $987 million comes from revenues the Sheriff's Department generates on behalf of the county through contracts, Proposition 172 and other sources.

The Board of Supervisors approved our request for an independent audit of the budget process as it specifically relates to the Sheriff's Department. Our hope is that the audit will repair the budget process by ensuring a stable funding source. The men and women of the Sheriff's Department continue to be committed to the safety and security of all the people in L.A. County.

Sheriff Lee Baca

L.A. County Sheriff

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