SACRAMENTO, Calif — After 12 hours of discussion, including more than 120 calls from the people of Sacramento County, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved its $6.41 billion budget.
The issue community members were most vocal about was the desire to move funds from law enforcement agencies to agencies that deal with housing, mental health services, and homelessness.
The county approved items such as body cameras, improvements to the county jail buildings, and an increase in the sheriff's budget of roughly 7.1%.
Supervisors and the sheriff all expressed that they desperately want body cameras.
"We need the body cameras. We need them now," Supervisor Susan Peters said.
Roughly $3 million was approved to fund body cameras for deputies, park rangers, and probation officers.
While the county did not make the cuts the community called for, Supervisors Patrick Kennedy and Phil Serna said Thursday afternoon they were in favor of moving $1.5 million from the sheriff's office. The money would go towards supporting the Mobile Crisis Support Team under Behavioral Health Services, which helps people during mental health crises.
Sheriff Scott Jones said Wednesday night he would be interested in having some of his department's funds go towards other programs for homeless services and mental health programs, but only after those programs are figured out.
"No, I would not be opposed to that, and I would assist in any way," Jones said. "But I will say that there is nothing that exists, so, to do so prematurely is putting the cart before the horse."
Kennedy said in response to Jones that the Mobile Crisis Support Team could be the project that Jones is suggesting, and the team already exists.
After Kennedy and Serna expressed their desire to expedite what Jones suggested, Jones posted his disapproval on Facebook.
The board gave County Executive Nav Gill 45 days to come up with a plan to present to the council to provide the $1.5 million to Behavioral Health Services.
The full budget is to be adopted on September 22.