DENVER (CBS4) – Facing a bleak financial picture, Denver budget analysts have suggested the Denver Police Department, Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department may need to cut numerous jobs and millions of dollars from their budgets.
City administrators have indicated DPD will need to slash the equivalent of 100 full time employees from its 2012 budget and come up with total savings of nearly $24 million for 2012.
“But that doesn’t necessarily translate into us reducing uniformed officers,” cautioned Denver Mayor Bill Vidal, speaking to CBS4 Thursday morning.
“They have other administrative staff as well. They have vacancies they haven’t filled. This is not necessarily a reduction in uniformed officers. I would suggest it might be a few, but not many,” said Vidal.
The Mayor’s Office said Thursday that the Denver Fire Department has been asked to cut the equivalent of 20 full time jobs and come up with more than $10 million in savings in the 2012 budget. As for the Sheriff’s Department, they have been asked to cut the equivalent of 20 full time positions and nearly $9 million in their 2012 budget.
City budget managers expect a shortfall of $100 million between projected revenues and operating expenditures for 2012. To address the gap, the Mayor’s Office and the Budget and Management Office are asking all departments to identify savings options.
“The savings target for the police operating budget is $23.8 million, according to an email sent to Denver Police. In asking for the savings, budget administrators told the police department they need to aim to reduce the equivalent of 100 full time employees.
“Please note,” reads the e-mail, “The FTE target is a minimum and its likely your savings proposals will need to include more than that to reach the savings target.”
Lt. Matt Murray, a DPD spokesman said Thursday, “We’ll meet the goals. It’s a process. We’ve started it,” said Murray.
When it comes to budget cuts for 2012, Vidal said “there’s no low hanging fruit anymore.”