The Douglas County Sheriff's Office has requested money for 40 new cruisers in the upcoming budget. But one tax group is questioning if the patrol cars are necessary.
"We want responsibility out of our county government," said James Bell of the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance. "We want to cut back on our taxes. We want them to educate themselves on where our money's being spent."
The county raised taxes 28 percent this year which cost the average homeowner approximately $130 more a year.
"Vehicles are the lifeblood of enforcement," said Chief Deputy Stan Copeland. "I mean, they're the lifeblood. If you call the sheriff's office and need a deputy, we have to get there."
The department bought 15 new cruisers this year but Copeland said the fleet continues to age and the radio system is outdated.
"We've had officers who are on foot chases and the other officers didn't even know it," said Copeland. "It's a huge accident waiting to happen."
A county spokesman said the commission has made public safety a top priority but have vowed not to raise taxes again.
"It's very tough," said spokesman Wes Tallon. "You have to make priorities. We've laid off people every year. We have the frozen positions. We're down to what we call bare bones but commissioners have said absolutely no new taxes."
A vote on the budget is scheduled for Dec. 17.
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