- Associated Press - Friday, December 11, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Budget changes made by lawmakers this year have hampered efforts to detect and prevent crime in North Carolina, the head of the state’s public safety agency said.

Secretary of Public Safety Frank Perry told The News & Observer (https://bit.ly/1OWV7As ) on Thursday that information-sharing connections his agency had been building with local and federal agencies have been disrupted by the budget changes.

Lawmakers reshuffled the state Department of Public Safety’s law enforcement division by moving law enforcement agencies that were in it elsewhere and eliminating the position of the commissioner who was in charge of the division.

The budget reflected the General Assembly’s ongoing push to consolidate state government where possible to find savings, legislators said.

Perry said consolidation is a good idea, but he said lawmakers should have consulted with law enforcement on how to enact the changes.

“To think … that we’re going to take out the division of law enforcement, which is the bridge for this preventive model from gangs to terrorism without warning, without consultation, without reason is truly misguided and dangerous,” he said.

Rep. Leo Daughtry, a Republican from Smithfield, said eliminating the position and division in question had been discussed among House and Senate justice and public safety committee members, who uniformly agreed it was a good idea.

“We thought it was the right thing to do,” he said. “It was not a snap decision done in the night.”


This story has been corrected to reflect that Perry made his remarks on Thursday, not Friday.


Information from: The News & Observer, https://www.newsobserver.com

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