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Department Budget Cuts: Jump ship, or stay the course?

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  • Department Budget Cuts: Jump ship, or stay the course?

    Here I was thinking that the economy was getting better...

    My department's town council announced today that the police department will be getting enormous budget cuts. There was a decent decrease in population, as the economy got better on the other side of the state people moved out. We lost about 9% of our population in the last 2 years. Adding to the mess is the town council/mayor are decently anti-police, they think our town of 30,000 people could be protected by 1 or 2 people on shift.

    The cuts have everyone, including myself, freaked out. Here's some things that "could" be on the horizon:
    -Everyone not salaried will be slashed down to our entry level officer pay. Regardless of position or experience. That means Corporals, Sergeants, even our Lieutenants will be paid as fresh academy graduates.
    -There will be absolutely no over time or on call pay that's not through a grant.
    -Our traffic unit, K9 unit, and investigations unit will basically be dismantled. They'll still exist, but basically only on their 40 hour work week.
    -They assume the other agencies(State Police, County, and a nearby city) could "gladly" help with calls....Yeah right...

    We sent a rebuttal to the mayor/town council explaining that if they do is, there will be a exodus of very disgruntled officers, and it's the public that will suffer for it. Calls will pend for hours, investigations will be lackluster, crime will thrive which will force even MORE people out of town. I love this department and this city, I've promoted here and gave this place tons of devotion and energy, but I couldn't survive on our base pay for very long.

    The town's making efforts to advertise moving here, we're expecting a "result" with that in January.

    So, jump now and watch the ship sink, or wait and play it out?

  • #2
    Originally posted by irish156 View Post
    H Adding to the mess is the town council/mayor are decently anti-police,
    If the above statement is true---------------I think you already have your answer.
    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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    • #3
      I lived through this.

      I was appointed chief of a small, Colorado, department. Myself, one sergeant, and three full-time cops, and a number of part-timers.

      MY MISTAKE: I did not get on the sergeant to keep an eye on part-timer hours. What resulted was...

      First, they cut two f/t positions, the two they didn't like.

      I warned my ALL my remaining officers to update their resumes, and I started reaching out to other departments on their behalf. I posted every local entry-level or lateral police job opening I could find.

      Some months later, they transitioned the remaining two full-timers in part-timers, making them hourly and without benefits.

      I knew, then, my time was short. I was told they could no longer afford me. I was out.

      The town involved has a tax base which supported 500 residents just fine. The same tax base must now support services for 1500. This town refused offers from WalMart and Cabela's.

      NOW, let's examine what else they cut...full-time Fire Chief, Parks & Recreation, and Roads.

      The smarter ones, in the other departments, got out. As I already had a big city police pension, I rode it out. If I were a younger guy I would want to believe that I would've got out sooner.
      "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

      Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

      Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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      • #4
        It depends on your POV. Do you need to stay in that town? When I first considered getting into LE I was in NC. As a Military Policeman I knew the only job security in NC was the Highway Patrol. Some of those small town PDs had 20 year old cars.

        Good luck and stay strong.

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        • #5
          If I were you I'd start putting out feelers; if you get a decent in-state offer, hasta la vista.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Chomp View Post
            If I were you I'd start putting out feelers; if you get a decent in-state offer, hasta la vista.

            My advice as well. How many years do you have on there?

            I would go to the next council meeting and ask the mayor and council members what their anticipated salary reduction is.
            Last edited by just joe; 09-28-2014, 09:02 AM.

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            • #7
              Don't know what agency you're with. I was with Roswell PD for about 2 1/2 years & left when it was made clear my chance for advancement was just about zero. That said, if you genuinely like your agency, have a chance to advance when/if things get better keep in mind they'll need to promote from existing personnel. Small agency Officers always imagine the grass is "greener" with bigger depts. but that's not always true. Depending on your time on & training another agency may happily pick you up so I'd at least do some research &see what's out there but I wouldn't jump ship without a plan.....

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              • #8
                Never jump ship without a plan.

                BUT, sometimes the grass really is greener because the other guys actually water the lawn.
                "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Department Budget Cuts: Jump Ship, Or Stay The Course?

                  I agree with what has been posted so far. Some people have starter homes or starter wives. It sounds like you are at a started police department. You don't mention what you would jump ship for. Would you stay in cop work or do something completely different? Not all agencies are "career departments". It sounds like yours is not. Get what you can out of the department. That means experience, training, contacts, etc. and look for other work. Pick carefully, though. Some people jump "out of the frying pan, into the fire!" Don't be one of those.

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