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Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond to cut jobs in hopes of staying within budget

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Sheriff Jim Hammond speaks to the media at the Hamilton County Sheriffs Office. Photo by Jake Daniels/Times Free Press Sheriff Jim Hammond speaks to the media at the Hamilton County Sheriffs Office. Photo by Jake Daniels/Times Free Press

CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -- Determined not to go over budget for the third year  in a row, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond says he'll furlough some part-time employees and even park patrol cars, but he doesn't plan to lay off his son, the department's $35-an-hour webmaster.

"I told the [Hamilton County] Commission I'm going to come in under budget," Hammond said.

"It may be that we have no cars. It may be they are sitting on the side of the road ... We're going to jockey around and be as austere as we can."

In the first third of the fiscal year, the sheriff's office has spent $10 million of its $28.2 million budget, or about 36 percent. Fuel, jail food and overtime for corrections officers have all cost more than expected, department figures show.

Hammond said he'll indefinitely furlough several part-time employees, including an armorer, records clerks and his next-door neighbor, Donald Klasing, on Jan. 1 to save $60,000. Klasing was among several Hammond friends given jobs that weren't in the 2013 budget that Hamilton County commissioners approved.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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