LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Sheriff's job is to submit budget

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I was offended by the tone of the recent front page article, "Sheriff seeks huge budget hike."

The reporter, Andy Porter, came to the first public meeting of the Walla Walla Sheriff's Foundation and came away with the opinion that we somehow set up the county commissioners for some type of attack.

Sheriff Turner acknowledged the county commissioners and thanked them on their recent approval of updated body armor for his deputies.

The WWSF was formed by concerned citizens to help protect our visitors, community and frontline deputies by providing financial support for equipment and training. Through bipartisan support we hope to purchase equipment that can't be provided by the budget process, items like patrol dogs.

The WWSF published an announcement to invite anyone interested to attend the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to invite everyone to meet the new directors of the WWSF and to help us plan a strategy going forward. As part of the educational process we invited Sheriff Turner and asked him to lay out what the Sheriff's Office needed to get the job done.

Part of the presentation was an overview of his budget. It laid out where Sheriff Turner would like to go with the department. Porter said Sheriff Turner went off topic and talked about the $2 million increase in his budget.

It is the sheriff's job to submit a budget. It is the county commissioners' job to approve or deny the budget as submitted. The commissioners were not specifically invited; they read about the meeting and chose to attend.

The WWSF is made up of local business leaders and professionals. Included are business owners, heads of companies, a college professor and emergency management professional. I am a retired law enforcement officer.

Porter turned this article into a fight between Sheriff Turner and the county commissioners. That was not the point of the meeting. We wanted to let the general public know what they can do to help the Sheriff's Office in tough economic times. We are setting up subcommittees to help us make some decisions, and raise money.

Michael L. Davis
Walla Walla

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