Sunday, January 16, 2011
A Cautionary Tale
Cincinnati barely escaped cutting police an firefighters this year. Next year police and firefighters will start hitting their maximum time under the drop program. Both departments will probably lose 100-200 personnel and no new academies will be held until 2013 at the earliest.
Camden, N.J. cutting 300 plus city workers is an example of what can go wrong in other cities (especially Cincinnati). To offset money shortfalls, the city pursued grants and added police and firefighters to combat the crime resulting from a depressed economy. Without jobs, crime continued to rise in Camden and now with fewer police and firefighters the city may never recover. The article makes this cautionary observation for other cities facing similar situation:
"It's the struggling cities like Camden that could bear the worst of the fallout from the Great Recession as governments at all levels slash costs. Congress has signaled that it will allocate less money to states. And New Jersey, facing its own fiscal crisis, has begun cutting how much money it gives to cities. Camden, where 80 percent of the budget in recent years has come from the state, has the most to lose."