Sheriff budget hearing continues

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The funding battle between the Jefferson County Sheriff's department and the Jefferson County Commission continued Monday afternoon with the sheriff's department promising layoffs if the cuts are not stopped.

Judge Joseph Boohaker heard more testimony Monday afternoon in the case. Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale is suing the county commission in an effort to stop commission plans to cut more than $5 million from the sheriff's budget.

Commissioner Jim Carns wrapped up his testimony Monday afternoon.  He said he did not know how the $5 million funding cut would impact the sheriff's office, but said, "all county agencies are important and all must be cut."

Capt. Dennis Berry, who oversees the sheriff's budget, testified if the sheriff's department has to take the cut, it would lead to 155 deputies being laid off. Berry also said the layoffs would leave Sheriff Hale as the only person available to patrol the Birmingham division and Assistant Sheriff Allen Farley as the only one available to patrol the Bessemer division.

Judge Boohaker said Monday afternoon he planned to continue testimony late Monday night in an effort to wrap up testimony by Tuesday afternoon.