The Long Layoff Arm of the Law

The Broward Sheriff's Office told 177 employees Monday that their services were no longer needed

Times are so hard, even the lawman has had to swing a heavy ax.

The Broward Sheriff's Office notified 177 employees on Monday that they will be laid off as part of a cost-cutting measure to meet the 2010 budget. The employees' last day will be July 31.

The cuts include 48 current deputies currently patrolling the streets. In total, BSO is eliminating 264 positions, 77 of which were tabbed for deputies, said BSO spokesman Jim Leljedal. Some of the positions were vacant.

Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti warned county commissioners it would come to this when they asked him to cut $54 million from his budget. BSO still employees over 5,000 people, including law enforcement and fire rescue personnel, but losing so many can't help but have a detrimental impact on service and safety.

One old saying goes, you never miss a cop until you need one. Well these cuts will put that adage to the test.

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