Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Will City’s New Budget Cuts Affect the Quality of Police Work?

In today’s paper, the PNJ explains how the city’s new budget cuts will affect the police department. Jamie Page says, “The Community Oriented Policing and Tactical Unit have been consolidated, meaning a total of 14 positions instead of 19.”

The paper delves a little deeper into their explanation by saying, “service level reductions to the Police Department will be minimal”. Page mustn’t have asked the police department why the service level reductions will be minimal because there aren’t any quotes to qualify their statement.

At last night’s City Council meeting, Police Chief John Mathis should've explained why the budget cuts won’t affect their police work.

Maybe he didn’t explain himself because a couple of quotes from Rick Outzen’s blog post make it sound like the Police Chief is unsure of how the budget cuts will affect his department. Outzen writes, “Mathis said he can’t say there aren’t going to be any consequences” from the budget cuts, and quoted the Police Chief as saying the consequences will, “be minimal in my opinion”.

How does Mathis know the consequences of the police department budget cuts will be minimal if he‘s unsure that there will be any?

I think at the very least, Mathis should explain why the police department no longer needs the Policing and Tactical Unit. In order to be comfortable with these new budget cuts, the people of Pensacola need to know that they’ll be getting the same level of service after the cuts happen.

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