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Maricopa County slashes over $8M from budget

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a fiscal year 2015 budget that is $8.5 million less than 2014.

Over half of the $2.2 billion budget will go for law enforcement, $1 million of which will be used to pay for a court-ordered monitor to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The monitor was appointed because of a federal civil rights lawsuit against the office.

Supervisors Chairman Denny Barney said most of the rest money will go toward other areas of law enforcement, including the county attorney, public defense services and courts.

“We’re making sure that we can maintain the right level of resources in those criminal areas,” Barney said.

The money for law enforcement includes raises for sheriff’s deputies and probation officers. Three new court divisions will be added.

Barney said that the budget reductions were made possible by changes in the way the county handles its technology.

“Rather than trying to do that in-house, we’re outsourcing it the way large corporations do,” Barney said. “That gives us better security and better efficiency.”

Barney said that no jobs were lost because of the cuts.