Within an hour of yesterday's announcement that Providence would lay off 60 to 80 police officers, City Councilman David Salvatore had gotten three phone calls from constituents asking whether kind of community-based policing be left by the wayside. The answer was elusive, says the Providenced Journal. Some police officers predicted the crime rate would jump. Detective Maurice Green predicted “chaos.”
Mayor Angel Taveras and Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare insisted that police services would not decline — even though they did not know how deep the cuts would be, or have a plan in place to absorb the losses. Taveras and Pare said the door is still open to negotiating with the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 3, which represents the department's 468 officers. The planned layoffs — which will begin next week — result from failed negotiations between the city and the union. Facing a $110-million budget deficit for the year beginning July 1, Taveras sought $6 million in concessions from the union to help close the gap.