One by one, Sacramento police officers handed in their badges this week, victims of another wretched budget at City Hall, reports the Sacramento Bee. Mayor Kevin Johnson said cops must discuss contributing to their pensions in order to save 42 police officers from being laid off. Dozens more crime scene investigators, community service officers, and administrative staff members in the Police Department are also losing their jobs. With just two days left in the fiscal year, there is little chance that an agreement on salary concessions could be reached before the police layoffs go into effect.
The layoffs create a difficult situation for Johnson. He has been strongly supported by the public safety unions and has said he wants the city to have two police officers per 1,000 residents. After this round of cuts, the city would need to add roughly 275 cops to get to that ratio. So far, the police union has not agreed to open its contract, which runs until 2013. Police officers and firefighters do not pay into their retirement funds. It’s a contract arrangement that the City Council has agreed to in the past but is now seeking to undo as a cost-saving measure.