The elimination of three community service officers might have been budgetary unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean their loss hasn’t impacted the department and the public.

The union representing sworn officers in Montclair has said that the loss of the three CSOs has impacted the department’s morale, and could soon impact how services are delivered to the public. The CSOs often handle taking reports and processing other paperwork. That sort of support allows officers to stay on the streets and on patrol longer each shift.

Cuts from the city’s staff were necessitated by the end of the city’s Redevelopment Agency, which resulted in $12 million in tax increment being taken by the State, and created a $2 million gap in the city’s budget. The loss of the CSOs, however, came during already strained relations between the city and the police officers’ association. The two have been at an impassive in budget negotiations.

From the Daily Bulletin:

The head of the police union says a recent move that reduced the civilian force in the Police Department has lowered morale.

Montclair officials recently handed out pink slips to three community service officers (CSOs) in a budget-balancing effort.

Read the full article here.