Police cut services during budget woes www.privateofficer.com
Police cut services during budget woes http://www.privateofficer.com
Atlanta GA. April 28 2008
By: Rick McCann
Ntl. Assoc. Private Officers
Police in communities across the country are canceling services such as alarm response, non-injury accident investigation, response to minor non-”in progress” incidents and even their highly acclaimed and heavily budgeted school resource programs.In an effort to make do with the budgets that city governments are giving us we have no choice, one police chief said.
My department needed 30 more officers, 20 more patrol cars, computers, radio equipment and what we got was 5 new positions and no cars.
At least five police departments are considering pulling the plug on officers in schools so that they can be moved back to the street.
In Tuscon Arizona, that’s exactly what will happen starting next month as they end a program that they’ve used for 46 years to reduce school violence, have positive interaction with teens and reduce drug use. Now there’s little doubt that the school system will suffer with the police officers gone from the schools.
Sgt. Fabian Pacheco, a TPD spokesperson, says, in fiscal year 2008, TPD will spend $2.8 million on the school resource officer program. Next year, he says, police can’t afford to do that.
The department needs those officers elsewhere.Today 15 Tucson Police officers walk the halls of TUSD schools.
They do a variety of jobs, investigate child abuse and bullying and provide crime information. Their purpose is to prevent crime.Sgt. Pacheco says, “It’s tough economic times and the Police Department has to do what many other businesses are doing.
Pacheco says TPD is short 27 officers on the streets. He says moving school resource officers there will improve officer safety and increase response times to crimes.
Other schools are also on the brink of ending their school resource officer programs as budgets get tighter and the need for officers on the street increases.
Some argue that serious crime like murders and robberies is down a police supervisor said, but take a look at the true stats and you’ll see it’s really not.
Murders are again climbing, property crimes like burglaries and thefts are skyrocketing in some areas and aggravated assaults and rapes are also beginnning to climb rapidly.Gangs are another serious problems that most departments have he said.
Not just in L.A. or Detroit or New York but in rural areas, small cities and bedroom communities the bloods, crips and MS-13 are claiming territory and taking lives to do it.Now the gas crunch is another serious issue Sgt. Becton said.
We now have across the board orders to park and walk at least thirty minutes every three hours unless the officer is on a call.
In Charlotte North Carolina, Nashville Tennessee and other areas, police are spending more time riding bikes and even horses to save fuel.
Officers everywhere are forced to park their patrol cars and wait on a dispatched call.
Rather than being proactive, we are going to have to sit back and be reactive and just go to the calls that we’re sent to.
The bottom line Becton said is the public either must be willing to pay for top rated law enforcement services or do without the non-emergency police services that the public has come to expect.
Money is tight, gas prices are high and cities are strapped for cash and we’re having to do more with less Becton said.
Of course the police will still come when you call the supervisor said, but it may not be as fast as you’d like or need.
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