Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern is increasing his request to the Board of Supervisor to hire hundreds of additional deputies and non-sworn employees over the next three years.
Ahern is asking for $106 million in funding at Tuesday afternoon’s meeting in order hire 265 sheriff’s deputies over the next three years, and 84 non-sworn positions. The proposed expenditure includes $22 million to hire 107 health and behavioral care workers at Santa Rita Jail.
The request in March asked the board to allocate $85 million for an additional 216 deputies and 47 non-sworn employees. The number of health care workers in the original proposal was also 107. Both plans came from a staffing consultant’s report that deemed that the sheriff’s department is understaffed.
Ahern’s ask comes at a time when county supervisors are spending furiously to keep safety net services flowing and propping up community-based organizations during the covid-19 pandemic. A large budget shortfall is also expected to be announced later this week.
Meanwhile, vocal critics of the Sheriff’s Department are strongly questioning whether the solution to a number of recent deaths of inmates, and other alleged misconduct at Santa Rita Jail is to hire more deputies.
It’s unclear, however, whether Ahern’s funding request will actually be heard on Tuesday afternoon. Since it first appeared on the Board of Supervisor’s agenda in late March, the item has been continued by the supervisors on three separate occasions.