Sheriff's Message History

New Fiscal Year

October 26, 2011

On October 1, we started a new fiscal budget year. With the local economy still declining, we have had to make some additional sacrifices in our budget this year. We have reduced our staffing again this fiscal year, but we were able to do so by eliminating positions without actually having to lay-off anyone. You may ask how we could do that. As with all employers, we have people who retire or resign throughout the year. When that happens we have tried to consolidate or transfer job functions where we can and we have had to reduce some service levels slightly, but the result has been cost savings in our budget.

Let me not forget to mention the group of dedicated volunteers who help us in so many ways. If it were not for our citizen volunteers taking over some of the office and even community patrol and public assist duties, we would not be able to serve our citizens at the levels we do now. Our volunteers are just the best!

As with so many others in county government, we are going yet another year with Sheriff's Office employees not getting any type of raise in salary. Our employees have not received any pay increases for the past four years. Actually due to legislative changes, all members of the Florida Retirement System, which includes all county employees, are now required to contribute 3% of their salary into their individual retirement accounts. That is something that has not been required for more than 30 years in Florida. So the men and women at the Sheriff's Office are actually taking a cut in their take-home salaries. As difficult as this is on them and their families, the men and women of your Sheriff's Office still serve with pride, honor and dedication to their community.

We have taken a great deal of time to scrutinize our spending needs. We have applied for and received grants to help with some funding. We have re-negotiated contracts. We are trying to make existing equipment and supplies safely last a little longer. We are growing our own vegetables and fish for use in preparing meals at our jail. We are even raising worms to consume some of our waste to make the soil to grow those vegetables. And, thanks to some local farmers, our inmates have been able to pick some of the ‘left-over' fruits and vegetables that would otherwise have been plowed under. In doing this we were also able to donate some to local food pantries to help others in the county.

Rest assured that we are trying to spend your hard earned tax dollars in absolutely the most cost efficient and conservative manner. We are constantly looking for ways to cut our costs while still striving to maintain the highest quality law enforcement and corrections services to you. It is our mission to make Charlotte County an even safer and more crime-free community in which to live every day. This is only possible due to the dedication of the men and women of the Sheriff's Office and the support of the members of our community.

Thank you for your continued support.

Sheriff Bill Cameron

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