Emergency Manager Proposed Budget Includes Massive Cuts to Police, Fire
Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley laid out a two-year budget plan with massive cuts to police and fire at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting. Under the proposed $55 million budget, the city’s police department would lose 36 police officer positions and the fire department would lose 19 firefighter positions.
According to MLive, in a statement before the beginning of the meeting Earley said “it’s my job to balance the budget and the city of Flint remains in an emergency.” He added “we are at a point when we have to look at the single biggest stress. Public safety has to be a part of the discussion.”
The police department would shrink from 151 to 115 with seven current vacancies left unfilled. Earley said Gov. Rick Snyder has been “pleased with the results” of increased Michigan State Police patrols in Flint and has “pledged that continuing support.” Earley also said that a consultant would be asked for recommendations for reorganization of the fire department to mitigate the affect of the cuts there.
Flint Finance Director Jerry Ambrose said the city won’t immediately start issuing pink slips once the budget is adopted in early June, but will take the coming months to explore all options, some of which include renegotiated contracts with police and firefighters in hopes of laying the groundwork for reorganization of the departments.