In a few places, law enforcement–normally a sacrosanct area–is starting to feel the pinch from budget cuts, says Governing magazine. Some cuts are nibbles around the edges. Charleston, S.C., decided saved $34,000 by eliminating a clothing allowance that helps detectives look good when testifying in court. New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram says no troopers will be hired in the next budget year unless the federal government comes through with grants to pay salaries over the next three years.
Other states and localities are starting to impose tougher measures on current employees. Boston Mayor Tom Menino has proposed layoffs for 67 police officers and 44 cadets. Thomas Nee, president of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association, says he's confident that state and federal aid can be secured in time to obviate the need for layoffs in his city, which are scheduled for October. Massachusetts is looking to cut its own public safety budget. Charles Murphy, chairman of the state House Ways and Means Committee, proposed eliminating salary increases for police officers who complete college degrees in relevant fields. This would have saved $100 million. Nee's union and its allies were able to restore half the funds.