MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele says he'll dish out more money to the Sheriff's Office in his next budget. But what kind of impact will it have on public safety?
Abele highlighted his 2015 Budget Proposal at the North Shore Rotary Monday afternoon, September 22nd. He'll do the same at the Rotary Amigos Tuesday evening, September 23rd.
Abele is proposing a $1.3 billion dollar budget that he says will not raise taxes while reducing the county's deficit.
"So the fact that without raising taxes, in all four budgets I've never proposed a tax increase, we've lowered the deficit, lowered the debt, improved services, that's something I feel pretty good about," said Abele.
Six years ago, Abele said the county was working with a projected budget shortfall of $160 million. Now, he says it's $34 million -- and the county is saving by holding county departments liable for their work.
"A lot more focus on performance budgeting, accountability and transparency. So every single department now have metrics we measure. So every month, we see a dashboard for all program areas -- and that's just about accountability and improving what we do," said Abele.
Abele's proposing an increase in public safety -- which includes the creation of a new “Violent Crime Task Force” in the District Attorney’s Office. The unit will expand investigations into violent crimes that are referred to the DA’s office.
Other highlights of County Executive Abele’s public safety efforts include:
- Nearly $4 million increase in tax levy for the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, one of the largest tax dollar increases for any office.
- The addition of two new investigators to the District Attorney’s “Witness Protection Unit.”
- Enhanced and expanded programming at the House of Correction, along with the addition of dozens of new Correctional Officers.
FOX6 News reached out to the Sheriff's Office for comment regarding the projected budget increase. Sheriff David Clarke says his experience with the county executive is "What he says versus what actually 'is' doesn't always match up."
County Executive Abele’s full 2015 Recommended Budget will be sent to the County Board and put online October 1st.