$4M cut from New Haven Police Dept. as part of city’s approved fiscal year budget

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — On Monday, the City of New Haven announced the details of the finalized budget for the Fiscal Year 2020-2021, including some major budget cuts to the police department.

Officials said it the budget process has been “one of the most challenging” the city has seen in many years.

According to a news release, while the board was trying to prevent layoffs, it said the overall impact on the city’s operations is significant.

A total of 101 city positions were eliminated or reduced to $1 — 80 in Mayor Justin Elicker’s proposed budget and 21 in the additional proposal.

The majority of the cuts were to the police department. Forty-eight positions were eliminated or reduced to $1 — or an 11% reduction in the size of the police force — and there was a $4,000,000 reduction in the police budget.

“The reduction in staffing will make it more difficult for the police department to have enough officers for walking beats, which are more labor-intensive, and also increases the likelihood of supervisor transfers (such as transferring district managers across districts) because fewer supervisor positions will exist,” the news release stated.

The approved budget, adopted by the Board of Alders, included a line item for operational savings in the amount of $2,004,300 related to non-Board of Education operational city departments.

The full budget can be seen below:

If you can’t see the PDF above, click here.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker released the following statement:

This budget is a reflection of tough financial decisions precipitated by the City’s increasing financial obligations. The budget is also a reflection of our values as a City and the challenges we face balancing the tax burden with providing services to residents – many of whom are struggling in our City. While we will always work to identify more efficiencies, these are real decisions that have a real impact on the services we deliver. With the additional $2M of cuts approved by the Board of Alders, we’re eliminating 21 additional positions on top of the 80 positions initially proposed for a total of 101 positions.

These cuts will impact City services. They will: reduce our ability to enforce public space violations, increase the likelihood of reassigning district managers in the New Haven Police Department more frequently because of a reduction in positions, reduce services to seniors, reduce some library hours, slow the repair schedule for Parks and Public Works projects, and further reduce support for the arts.

These are not decisions I want to make. The Board of Alders and I have the same goal to strike the right balance between high taxes and services we provide. We may not land exactly on the same page as to how exactly to strike that balance. Still, we can acknowledge that these are difficult decisions, and there is no easy answer.

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