The Sacramento Police Department is proposing service cuts to help the city close a massive budget gap, reports the Sacramento Bee. They could lead to longer waits for 911 calls to be answered, delays in some violent crime investigations, and a decrease in proactive enforcement against drugs and gangs. Faced with a budget shortfall of $58 million, officials cut the police budget by $16 million this year. The department has lost dozens of positions and is experimenting with doubling up officers in patrol cars to save on fuel and maintenance costs.
The latest cuts would slash more than 1,300 hours of overtime a month and change how police prioritize their response to certain crimes. It could mean delays in investigating robberies and sex assaults and less patrolling by officers now under pressure to write reports before their shifts end. The police department also has been faced with unplanned expenses, such as investigating an increase in homicides. A recent case cost the department $25,000 in overtime. Brent Meyer, president of the Sacramento Police Officers Association, said he expects the consequences to be serious.