MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Merced County Sheriff is demanding action from local leaders to hire more deputies.
Sheriff Vern Warnke spoke at Tuesday's County Board of Supervisors meeting, saying the department needs at least 50 personnel.
The sheriff claims the county hasn't done enough to retain deputies and correctional officers, and that could jeopardize emergency response.
"We know what it will take to stop the bleeding, and it's like it's falling on deaf ears," he said. "The response I get from this current board is it's like somebody that's starving to death, and they offer them a Cheeto."
The board members say they're working to address staffing shortages.
They offered an eight percent increase and improved benefits.
Supervisor Scott Silveira says the county is challenged by nearby regions offering more pay.
He says the board will continue to look for a solution to the staffing issues.