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Crime Fighters Concerned About State Budget Ax

January 23rd, 2008 by flanews

State prosecutors and law officials are warning that crime could rise if they are forced to cut their budgets because of falling state revenue. Tampa alone could see a projected $1.2 million in cuts. State Attorney Mark Ober and others are concerned that the shortage could mean layoffs for an already overburdened system.

“That’s trouble,” Ober said. “That means people are going to home and not work and that meansthat the caseloads are going to increase. They’re already at a record high. And the only thing that can happen to public safety if that occurs, and I speak for the state attorney and the other circuits generically, the only thing that can happen if that occurs is bad.”

Mark Lunsford, the father of child murder victim Jessica Lunsford, says his daughter’s case, and the success he had passing the get tough on sex offender legislation is an example of how citizens can make a difference by speaking out.

“I do it because I’m mad,” Lunsford said. “You pissed me off and so now I’m going to come at you and I’m going to fight with you. And I found a way to be a vigilante and it’s okay. You be a vigilante with the legislators and you can get away with it and you can say the things that need to be heard.”

State Attorney’s offices across Florida have already lost 2% in funding this year, or about $400,000.

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legislature, State Budget, State News | 17 Comments »

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