Prop 1 defeat means layoffs for Franklin County Sheriff - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Prop 1 defeat means layoffs for Franklin County Sheriff

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PASCO, Wash.--  Proposition 1 was a tricky subject for voters; raise taxes or support local police. It led to a close race, 52 percent against, 48 percent for the measure. Franklin County Sheriff Richard Lathim doesn't expect results to change, meaning now his shifting his focus to not having that revenue, and thinking about layoffs.

The goal was to keep Franklin County safe, but it came with a cost; a .3% sales tax addition. Proposition 1 would have raised millions to help the Sheriff, Pasco police and other local police stations. Now come layoffs-- seven total positions in the Sheriff's department gone, but voters might have thought we're safe enough.

"I guess if we have shootings every week and stabbings then people would probably vote for it," says Sheriff Richard Lathim. "But we don't want to go there to get people to vote for it either."

Could the defeat also be a problem of marketing? Not enough explanation as to what Prop 1 would actually do.

"The voters have a right to vote however way and may be the county needs to do a better job of publicizing why they need it," says Pasco resident Kathy Naef.

"It's a safety precaution everything else they need the room they're overcrowded in the jail from what I understand," says fellow Pasco resident Bert Proctor. "It's better to have them in there where they need to be then out roaming around."

But that's exactly what the Sheriff fears.

"W'ed have to limit who could come to jail. They would just have to be cited or reports filed with they prosecutor and charged later and brought in," Lathim says. "It starts deteriorating you're effectiveness as a law enforcement officer if you cant have that resources of putting people in jail."

The Sheriff says if the jail continues to hold around 100 extra inmates like it currently is, then they will start to limit who will be put there. As for the layoffs for the Sheriff, two law enforcement deputies will be let go and two corrections officers will also be laid off.

Kevin Still and Sonya Symonds, the two corrections officers arrested for drug trafficking have been fired, and that will save two other positions that would have been cut.

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