With the economic downturn in full swing across the state, county and city officials are grappling with budget scenarios that are often leading to cuts in police officers.

The following illustrates the impacts budget cuts are having on how different counties and cities are dealing with public safety staffing.

  • In recent years, crime has gone down in Oakland, but according to Bobby White with The Wall Street Journal, the city will now be making its first massive police officer lay offs due to economic constraints, testing a safer Oakland.
  • Glenn county, with help from the cities of Orland and Willows, may have to abandon a state-funded drug task force for lack of officers. Sheriff Larry Jones said, “It’s paramount to closing down the military and exposing our borders for invasion.” This according to Rob Parsons with the Orland Press Register.
  • Vallejo police feel the impact of recent budget cuts in hampering the department’s ability to deal effectively with emergencies. Recent hard-to-control incidents included a fatal shooting, a gun battle that left at least two people injured, an apparent robbery and a large, out-of-hand gathering. This according to Jessica A. York with the Vallejo Times-Herald.
  • Budget cuts in the city of Monterey forced the elimination of the K-9 officer, Able, in the police department. The use of police dogs is not a frivolous resource; they have proven to be highly effective in chasing down and apprehending criminal suspects while in the line of duty. This according to an editorial on Californian.com.
  • Raul Hernandez with the Ventura County Star reports that Ventura County faces millions of dollars in cuts to the district attorney’s budget that have led to a hiring freeze, reductions in services, the termination of three permanent employees and will result in scaling back the number of cases the office prosecutes.
  • The national economic recession is only expected to decrease the City of Hawthorne’s income by about $400,000 compared to last year. That difference has been largely made up by department cutbacks though, including about $200,000 from the Police Department, this reported by Sandy Mazza with the dailybreeze.com.
  • The City of Oakdale recently passed their budget, and did so by working out an agreement with the Oakdale Police Officers Association (POA) where employees will be furloughed 12 days next year — saving the city $105,000. The agreement between the POA and city does not call for layoffs of police officers as one city leader’s initial plan did. This according to Craig Macho with The Oakdale Leader.
  • In response to a $5.7 million budget shortfall, Visalia proposes savings from enacting an early-retirement incentive that will be offered to 28 eligible senior police personnel. This according to the Visalia Times-Delta.

Andrew Carico can be reached at acarico@publicceo.com