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Layoffs of about 100 police officers and nearly 50 Fire Department staffers are listed as possible budget cuts in the city’s proposed 2011/2012 budget, scheduled to be released Friday.
The city released a summary of the budget recommendations from Interim City Manager Bill Edgar and Interim Deputy City Manager Betty Masuoka late Thursday afternoon. The budget was largely put together by previous Interim City Manager Gus Vina, who resigned last month.
The city manager’s office recommends that police officer cuts should be made in the department’s special units. The summary said that 167 full-time employees would be cut in the police department. Of the 167 employees, 98 are sworn police officers, the summary says.
“This reduction will result in the loss of the special units in order to protect patrol (units) as much as possible,” the report said.
The proposed budget would also ramp up the number of Fire Department “brownouts” from two to six, and lay off 49 full-time Fire Department employees. However, the suggested cuts to the Fire Department were unclear at press time because the city has been selected to receive a federal $5.6 million grant earmarked for firefighters.
The city fire department has two rolling brownouts in effect, which means that certain fire trucks and engines are out of service at various times, according to former Fire Department spokesman Jim Doucette.
Parks and Recreation is slated for major cuts, as well. “All but three community centers will be closed, and all but three swimming pools will be closed starting the summer of 2012,” according to the budget summary. The budget recommendations also said that youth and senior programs will face “significant reductions.”
While the city manager’s office has released budget cut plans for the police, fire and parks departments, it’s unclear how many people will actually be laid off. The City Council is responsible for all final decisions on the budget, and the numbers of proposed layoffs often change during the city budget process. Union negotiations can change the numbers. When the city cuts positions, it uses a process of demoting employees that can also change the number of layoffs.
Read the summary of the proposed budget here.
The full proposed budget is expected to be released Friday. The Sacramento Press will cover the budget in depth on Friday.
Kathleen Haley is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.