Monday, February 02, 2009

City Facing Huge Budget Shortfall

Apparently, our City-County Council didn't approve a budget for this fiscal year that is anywhere close to being balanced. WRTV's Jack Rinehart reports that IMPD is facing a $5 million deficit, while the fire department is about $3 million short. "The funding crisis was discovered when the City-County Council passed the 2009 budget and lawmakers realized that the year included 27 pay periods, instead of the usual 26," Rinehart says. By next year, city officials expect the shortfall to reach $30 million annually. Remember how that 65% increase in the local income tax was going to pay for 100 more police officers? "For IMPD, the shortfall could impact the hiring of more police officers, layoffs of civilian employees, cuts in training and cutbacks in overtime traditionally used for extra neighborhood patrols," Rinehart says. All agencies are being asked to find 5% reductions by Mayor Ballard. Negotiated contract increases for police officers well above the rate of inflation, of course, will not be touched. Why pray tell would our city piss away $5 million in brand new spending on useless crime prevention grants when we're facing this big of budget hole?

5 comments:

Downtown Indy said...

Since virtually every non-report run requires two officers to respond, I suggest immediately putting two officers in every car and selling off (or at least parking) however many cars are leftover. That may put a crimp into setting perimeters, but other than that I don't see a downside.

Is the civilian report-taking staff in place? I don't recall if that actually has gotten implemented yet.

Advance Indiana said...

They are in the process of hiring the civilian staff in lieu of the 100 new police officers promised when the tax increase was passed.

spooknp said...

There are many firefighters and police officers "driving a desk" that could easily be put back out onto the street. To me, if we need a Sgt. or Lt. sworn police officer to run/work at the auto desk, gun permits, crime stoppers, etc., then it sounds to me that those officers don't need a take home car. Also, why do they need rank when they get this jobs? This is what has happened to police departments all over the country. You have street officers who put in the years, yet they may or may not want to be patrol supervisors. So when their old academy buddies climb the ladder, eventually they reward their old friends with these low stress, M-F jobs. Again, why do these "police officers" need a take-home car just to drive from home to the CCB/10th-Post/City Garage and back throughout the week?

Sir Hailstone said...

The last guy that occupied the 25th would have raised taxes without reservation.

OK Mayor Ballard - time to sharpen that pencil. Let's see what kind of frugality will come from the 2010 budget. You remember how you got elected. We're not forgetting.

guy77money said...

Hmm what happened with all that money from the last big tax increase? It was supposed to fix all of this ;) You catch a crook ripping off your house and they are back on the streets in under a week since we have no room at the jail. Oh well just get yourself a gun and a good burgular alarm!