The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., police department plans to eliminate 42 sworn officers, 8 percent of its 500-member force, by year’s end, the Miami Herald reports. It is the latest casualty in the city’s cutting $15 million from its tight $377 million budget. Some employees may get the bad news around Christmas.
“We have no choice,” Acting City Manager Alan Silva said after he with police and fire department heads yesterday. “We are trying to create sustainable means for [the upcoming] budget year. That means dramatic cuts now.”
The police force must cut $6.3 million from its annual $70 million budget, spokesman Clinton Ward said. That means the horse patrol and community policing money will be sacrificed first and vacancies will not be filled. “This will be a significant blow to the department,” Ward said. “Our primary concern is patrol and investigative services, making sure those stay unaffected.”