Hoschton, Georgia a city with a population of 1,612 is out of cash and voted to dissolve the police department. Please consider Jackson deputies to patrol Hoschton.
The council voted 4-1 last week to scrap the city’s three-man police department and its municipal court system in order to save about $360,000 a year. The police department will be completely dismantled by the end of the month.
Open police cases will be transferred to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and all court cases that are not resolved will be handled in Jackson County State Court.
“We could no longer afford to fund public service as a duplicate service,” said Mayor Erma Denney, who took office last month. “Every property owner in Hoschton has already been paying for public safety through the sheriff’s office and always has been.”
Hoschton leaders have struggled for more than a year to balance residents’ desire for autonomous city services with vehement opposition to property taxes, which Hoschton property owners have not had to pay for more than 30 years.
The previous council shrank the department from seven officers to four between 2008 and late 2009.
The final blow came Jan. 13, when Denney and four new councilmen – who all ran on ending the city’s budget crisis – adopted an amended budget that shrank 2010 spending by about half.
Well that’s one way to end a budget crisis.
Layoffs notices officially took effect for 160 Cleveland firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians on Monday. With a $23 million shortfall in the city budget, only concessions by unions can bring back those laid off.
Firefighters are expected to vote again on an agreement by the end of the week, which would restore 38 positions.
The Boston Police Department could be forced to lay off as many as 200 police officers because of cuts in state funding, wiping out hiring efforts that strengthened the force after homicides hit a 10-year high in 2005, according to two officials.
It would be the first time in 27 years and only the second time in history that the city lays off police officers.
City budget officials, anticipating large reductions in state funding in the current and coming budget years, have instructed city departments to submit draft budgets with cuts of between 7 and 10 percent. Also facing layoffs under the draft budgets are Boston firefighters and teachers.
The Fire Department has already canceled a class of recruits who were supposed to begin training a few weeks ago and is planning to cancel another class scheduled to start in the spring. It is unclear how many additional Fire Department employees would be cut to reach its target budget, which like the Police Department budget, is 7 percent lower than the current budget.
Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer gave 155 officers pink slips today, amid city budget problems. The officers laid off are the lowest-ranking officers who were most recently hired. They will be getting 2 weeks’ severance pay, along with any unused comp time and vacation time. Many of the officers had to go to work today and will be on the job until the layoffs take effect next Friday. The layoffs represent nearly 20% of the total TPD force. The officers’ last day of work will be January 29th. The layoffs will bring the police force to 653. That is the fewest number of officers Tulsa has had in more than 20 years.
Layoffs in police and fire have barely begun to start.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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