Athens Co. Sheriff Reacts To Budget Cuts

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The Athens County Sheriff's Office has been notified it will not be receiving funds from a domestic violence grant for fiscal year 2012.

The loss of the money means domestic violence advocate Cheryl Garvin will be laid off January 1. 
It could also lead to some serious issues for the Sheriff's office.
Sheriff Pat Kelly says he was shocked when he told the county would not be paying its portion of a grant to pay for the domestic violence advocate.
The $55,000 total grant amount required the county to pay $13,000 as a match, but the county didn't budget its portion so Garvin must be let go.  
Kelly says she will be missed. "She will be there to get the protection orders, she'll take them through the court system and follow up with the victim after so that person doesn't come into a system that they know very little about. Cheryl has worked with many people and has gained respect of law enforcement throughout the county," said Kelly.
He adds other programs will suffer as well. "We're going to try to maintain the services they just will not be at the level that we have been able to provide for the victims in Athens county and I think that is a tragedy in itself because there's a lot of domestic violence in Athens County and the state of Ohio and without these advocates and without this funding it cripples some programs for us," said Kelly.
Kelly says he got numerous responses from frustrated citizens after he posted the news on his Facebook page. "This is clearly the case of balancing the state budget on the backs of the victims. These grants were important to local agencies and without them it puts a burden on the sheriffs and on the county prosecutor too," he said.
The Sheriff says Garvin has agreed to stay on as a reserve and volunteer several hours each month to monitor and track the number of domestic violence cases. 
He says he will apply for the grant again next year.