In times of budget shortfalls many cities are cutting police and fire services. I fully support balanced budgets and I do not think raising taxes in hard times is a good idea. It only slows the recovery or makes hard times tougher. That means that agencies need to find creative ways to cut or hold spending and still deliver services.
Delay the purchase of equipment. If vehicles can be maintained well they will last longer. Train employees to check vehicles before they go in service and to drive safely. Money spent on accidents is money wasted. Downgrade positions, cut the rank of staff positions without actually reducing the number of people doing the work. The decrease in rank can come over time as ranking officers retire, get promoted or otherwise leave the positions open. If absolutely necessary, employees can be administratively demoted with notations in their files that it was due solely to budget cuts and not the quality of their work.
Across the board pay cuts of the same percentage can be made to all department employees to retain the same number of workers. Rather than lay off 10% of a workforce, cut everyone’s pay by 8%, the savings will be about the same and yet will preserve jobs. The agency chief and command staff should take the lead and take a pay cut pay cut 1% greater than their employees as a demonstration of leadership and since they make more money they can afford a greater cut in pay than line employees. Time for creative solutions to fiscal problems, not just making random cuts; that’s what the SGT Says.