One day after the Boston Globe reported the possibility of 200 Boston police layoffs, Police Commissioner Edward Davis attempted to reassure nervous union officials and employees with an e-mail that stated no firm decision has been made to cut the workforce. The Globe said yesterday that the layoffs might be necessary because of cuts in state funding, wiping out hiring efforts that strengthened the force after homicides hit a 10-year high in 2005. It would be the first time in 27 years and only the second time ever that the city lays off police officers.
City budget officials, anticipating large reductions in state funding, have instructed city departments to submit draft budgets with cuts of between 7 and 10 percent. Layoffs may mean that the current academy class of 29 police recruits would receive pink slips on graduation day in May. The remaining layoffs would have to come from the ranks of about 2,241 officers, including 37 recruits who joined the force in November. With Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick warning of additional budget cuts in the current fiscal year – $1 billion more on top of the $1.4 billion he already slashed – the draft budgets may be closer to reality than city officials had hoped.