Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden presented the Sheriff’s Office 2011 proposed budget to the Board of Chosen Freeholders on Monday, February 28th. The agency operates three divisions which includes corrections, law enforcement and communications, and, calls for an estimated budget of $66.9 million, a 1.2 percent decrease from the 2010 adopted budget. “We are working with the county administration in an effort to decrease the agency’s budget, and, as in the past several years will continue to generate revenue within our divisions.” said Sheriff Golden. “The Sheriff’s Office is the only agency in the county to close an entire operation, the Youth Detention Center.”

The budget costs include full time salaries, part time salaries, overtime and operating expenses within all three divisions. The correctional division is proposing approximately $46.3 million, the communications division is proposing approximately $5.9 million and the law enforcement division is proposing approximately $14.7 million, of which an additional $2.6 million was incorporated as a result of a contract obligation with Middlesex County when the Youth Detention Center closed. “The county saved several million dollars by closing the Youth Detention Center. However, that savings was not reflected in our budget. Instead, the law enforcement division had to absorb an additional $2.6 million by acquiring the contract to house juveniles at the Middlesex County Detention Center. In addition, the law enforcement division is responsible for all related transportation.”

The correctional division is working on cuts throughout the agency by eliminating positions through attrition, implementing shift reductions and earmarking money towards overtime from the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) which provides funding. In addition, the law enforcement division is working to decrease overtime and not fill pre-approved officer positions. The communications division has plans to cut back and reduce overtime. As in the past two years, the agency will find creative and cost efficient ways to operate. “The Sheriff’s Office will continue its efforts to streamline operations as well as to promote and implement shared services at a cost savings to the public,” said Sheriff Golden.