Cuts coming to police and fire; city employees get furloughs

By Brad Underwood - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati's police and fire departments could take major hits in a proposed budget for the city.

A council committee talked about across the board cuts on Monday, including furloughs to help the city try to eliminate its $20 million budget deficit.

Cincinnati's policemen and firefighters were there to voice their concerns.

Just over $2.6 million is what the finance committee says will be cut from police, fire and city service department.

"Things have to be cut, so its not fun doing that and we all know that," said Cincinnati vice-mayor David Crowley.

Police and fire will cut $2.5 million in administration cuts, non personnel cuts, and cops will walk for a half hour per shift instead of drive.

"Which I think many citizens would definitely like, they would like to see their officers walking the beat," said councilmember Laketa Cole.

The fire department will make various cuts totaling to $1.2 million. Fire officials say the environmental crime unit, the internal investigations units, the juvenile fire setter program, the fire recruitment program, the special events coordinator and the polygraph unit for fire investigations will all be eliminated.

Several other programs will cut funding, as well.

Council and the mayor's office will also make cuts - a 10% non-personnel cut will be taken, and six cost saving days.

Council members did say the decisions were tough and recognize the sacrifices made by all.

"This is a difficult budgetary time, I like the changes we made and I appreciate the city administration and its agencies, some that are represented here today, for the hands on approach," said councilmember Greg Harris.

Employees will be asked to take six furlough days this year, and 10 in 2010.

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