Thursday, August 18, 2005

Follow Up On Effects Of Metro Council Budget Cuts To The Police Department

It's taken me almost a month to follow up with you about the effects of the Council's alternative budget on the Central Precinct, but here are the details from the Precinct Commander's office.

Each precinct has their own budget, which is controlled by each of the Commanders. During the year, each Commander has control, with permission from Police brass, to move funds from surplus to deficient services as needed. That means that if a service to a neighborhood is deficient, the Commander may muster funds from elsewhere to cover the deficiency.

The Commanders do not have any control over hiring; that is decided by the Metro Council. Fortunately, for those of us living in the Central Precinct, the Council did not stipulate any cuts to Police personnel. I was told that the Police Department currently has over 40 trainees riding with training officers in the field, that a new recruit class started recently, and that plans are being made for another recruit class next year.

It would seem that we can breath a sigh of relief that our neighborhood will continue to be patrolled at the same levels in the coming year. Of course, there is no guarantee that we will not need higher patrol levels and more community policing should crime spike in the future. Yet to be determined is whether the shuffling of patrol officers to fill administrative and clerical positions will affect patrol coverage.

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