Police Budgets Cut As Killings, DUI Deaths Mount


Police departments around the nation must become more efficient in an era of belt-tightening worse than many have experienced law enforcement leaders said at the National Institute of Justice annual crime research conference yesterday in northern Virginia. “It’s the first time I’ve had to make cuts in my 17 years as chief,” said Police Chief Mark Marshall of Smithfield, Va., Second Vice President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “We have to do more with less.” IACP president Russell Laine of Algonquin, Il., agreed, saying, “We need to take a look at how we do business.”Nashville Police Chief Ronal Serpas wondered whether law enforcers have “made the case for modern policing,” noting that police are answering a huge number of service calls that have nothing to do with violent crime. Nola Joyce, chief police administrator in Philadelphia, said her department must focus on $64 million annually spent on officer overtime and court appearances. Several panelists lamented that as police budgets are being threatened or actually slashed, few Americans are talking about the continued death toll from crime and auto accidents–particularly drunk driving–even if crime rates have stabilized. Citing 100,000 murders in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001, and 40,000 highway fatalities annually, former IACP President Ronald Ruecker, now an FBI official, said, “It blows my midn that no one is talking about [] this crazy loss of life.”

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