Battle Creek Police Chief Projecting No Layoffs
Battle Creek City Commissioners have approved a budget adjustment to deal with a shortfall of state funding. An unforeseen decline in the personal property tax reimbursement from the state meant that Battle Creek had to adjust its budget before the fiscal year ended in June. As Police Jim Blocker told WBCK on Monday, the Police Department will have to cut about $700,000 and the Fire Department will cut a little over $400,000. But will officers be laid off? Chief Blocker says no.
"We're looking at job reductions by attrition", said Chief Blocker on Wednesday. "We'll also be making substantial cuts on overtime for officers." But Chief Blocker emphasized that there won't be layoffs of officers, or any reduction in the police force capabilities or ability to deliver primary services.
What about after the fiscal year ends on June 30th? "We're working on a realistic picture of what the next year's budget may look like," said Chief Blocker. "We may have a better idea sometime in May."
Blocker says a similar approach of cutbacks in personnel through attrition and cutbacks of overtime pay will be used to make the Fire Department cuts.