BURKE COUNTY, Ga. - County leaders say Sheriff Alfonzo Williams's recent claim that they are working to "defund the police" is untrue and "further shows the erratic path our sheriff has decided to take."

On September 8th, a press release from the sheriff's office indicated the department is underfunded by $2.25 million for the year. "The commission is on a very dangerous path seeking to defund and dismantle law enforcement services, which will have catastrophic consequences on public safety," the press release states.

Commissioners retort, "The use of such an emotionally charged term ["defund the police"] is not productive and is a blatant attempt to mislead the public."

The press release from the commission further states, "While the Board has consistently disagreed with how the Sheriff spends his funding, we respect the Sheriff’s budgetary authority and encourage the public to hold him accountable for his spending. Threatening the safety of our officers and the public is ill-advised. This Commission funds our Sheriff’s Department extremely well and will continue to do so. We recommend that he fulfill his constitutional obligation in a peaceful and fiscally responsible manner."