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Demand For Public Safety Services Up In Sedgwick County

Hugo Phan
KMUW/File photo
Sedgwick County is beginning to formulate the 2019 budget. A series of workshops were held in May to update county commissioners on departmental funding requests.

Sedgwick County commissioners are getting updates on departmental budget requests as part of the 2019 budget process.

County leaders have been briefing commissioners on the most pressing budget issues during workshops that began earlier this month.

County Manager Mike Scholes says the department of public safety needs increased funding across its agencies, including 911 and the sheriff’s office.

"Demands for public safety services continue to trend up, and are accelerating at an alarming rate — probably even faster than we had initially anticipated this year," Scholes says.

Scholes says the human services area needs more resources due to behavioral health issues in the community.

“Behavioral health issues are impacting systems to include a great demand for mental health services, increase support for child in need of care cases, pressure on all aspects of the judicial and correction system in assistance with preventing an ongoing methamphetamine and opioid crisis in our region,” Scholes says.

The county also will see more departmental requests for technology improvements. Scholes says he’s hoping to create an improved technology planning process to mimic the capital improvement planning process.

“It will help define needs, set standards and requirements and fairly allocate resources. This includes technological manpower and expertise demands that correlate with these hardware and software demands,” he says.

Scholes will release the 2019 budget recommendations on July 18. Public hearings will be held July 25 and August 9 for anyone who would like to provide feedback. Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the 2019 budget on August 15.

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.