The City Auditor is at it again, finding ways to save San Jose money while cutting back services only minimally. This week’s target is the SJPD, which has already suffered from severe budget cuts.
The auditor found that the police force is actually management heavy, with one sergeant for every 4.5 patrol officers. In contrast, the ratio is one for every seven in San Francisco, while it is one seargent for every ten patrol officers in Phoenix.
The difference is significant. By switching to the Phoenix model, the city could save as much as $33 million, a hefty chunk of change now that the projected budget deficit for next year is $90 million. It would also put more officers on the street, potentially making the city safer.
“It is entirely possible, and I hate to even say it, but the next budget could bring not only layoffs but the possibility of demotions,” says Acting Police Chief Chris Moore.
Mayor Chuck Reed is less committed to the idea, while he says he wants to investigate the matter “very seriously.”
“I’m not ready to conclude what the right ratio is,” eed says.
The mayor may be concerned about the Police Union’s response, especially after this year’s heated dispute over layoffs and pension plans. On the other hand, he cannot ignore the budgetary constraints, and the fact that the projected deficit is getting larger.
Read More at ABC 7.