Forest Preserve considers cutting Sheriff's Dept. contract - – Rockford’s News Leader

Forest Preserve considers cutting Sheriff's Dept. contract

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The Winnebago County Forest Preserve considers its budget cutting options.

Right now the agency is about $470,000 short. Commissioners met Wednesday night to discuss different ways of making that money up. President Randy Olson proposes dropping a contract with the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department, which he says would save them more than $300,000. Olson suggests getting nearby municipalities to patrol the preserves instead.

Olson says, "Instead of having one of two [officers], we could potentially have up to 20 officers at the preserves at any given time... and of course, budget reduction is the big thing we need."

Four commissioners disagree with Olson's proposal and they have pledged their support for keeping the contract with the Sheriff's Department. A committee of board members will continue to consider all possible cuts until the next budget meeting on September 15.

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