Eighty positions are being cut in those two departments. Of the 40 positions cut in the Police Department 23 layoffs of current officers will take place. In the Fire Department, 38 current employees would lose their job. At least one fire station will be closed. Ironically, a fire station is currently under construction.
The challenge will be to provide the best possible fire and police protection with the decimated departments. Response times will necessarily be affected.
Police Chief Halphen has announced that he will postpone his retirement until this is all sorted out.
Hopefully, the proposed budget will be closely examined and some alternatives will be seriously considered. In the meantime, let's all show our support to all of the policemen, firemen and their department heads, as well as to all of the other people whose lives and families will be affected by this situation.
We will blog more in the next few days about what caused the crisis and what some possible solutions may be.