Bouchard to D.C: 'Quit holding hostage programs people need' - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Bouchard to Washington: 'Quit holding hostage programs people need'

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Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (Credit: Fox 2 News)
PONTIAC, Mich. (WJBK) -

Sequester is Washington's latest buzz word in the ongoing budget debate.  They say devastating cuts are coming if Congress can't reach a compromise deal by March 1.

"Give me the actual budget and a pen, and I'll handle this thing," said Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard.

A seasoned politician himself, Bouchard is tired of Washington's bickering and inability to fund what is important to him and so many others -- public safety.

"We've cut 165 positions over the last few years.  Washington's been adding positions, and yet when the cuts have to be made, the first thing they do is come after us," he said.

Bouchard has some ideas on where the federal government could make cuts instead.

"I love this one.  This one says 200,000 [dollars] for tattoo removal for ex-gang members.  So they're giving gang members money to take off their tattoos, and they're saying they don't have money for law enforcement.  It's disgusting," he remarked.

According to the White House, Michigan will lose about $482,000 in justice assistance grants that support law enforcement, prosecution, courts, crime prevention and drug treatment and enforcement.

How likely is this to happen?  Fox 2 has learned that some grant money has already been frozen in anticipation of the sequester.

"They want to see what cuts come down because if those cuts come down and affect federal agencies, they're going to take the money out of the local programs to keep the federal agencies whole," said Bouchard.

The sheriff said Oakland County would be impacted, those justice grants and Byrne grants that fund narcotics enforcement and emergency preparedness.  Even the crime lab could lose out on federal dollars.

"My simple message is make the cuts that need to be made.  Grow a pair.  Do something, but quit holding hostage programs people need," Bouchard said.

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