The mayor's proposed budget would include $700,000 in one-time "bridge funding" to allow for the bureau to reduce its strength through attrition, and not by laying off the bureau's most recent, more diverse hires.
The mounted patrol unit now consists of six full-time officers, one sergeant, two stable attendants and one horse trainer and costs about $1.2 million. The city budget office recommended it be eliminated "in light of current fiscal constraints,'' the office analysis said.
Mayor Charlie Hales has proposed cutting Portland police spending by 4.2 percent, or $6.7 million, which would result in the loss of 55 positions.
Yet actual layoffs would only be at 17, because there are now 38 jobs vacant within the bureau. The bureau also would receive one-time funding of $708,000 to allow staffing to decrease through attrition due to retirements, and not by laying off recent hires.
Hales has proposed eliminating the Mounted Patrol Unit, expected to save $1.1 million, and shaving two to five officer positions from the traffic division, gang enforcement team, family services, youth services, property crimes investigations, forensic evidence unit and drugs and vice division.
The mayor's proposal would maintain funding for 19 of 23 school resource positions, and 18 of 20 jail fingerprint identification technicians – jobs that the chief had proposed eliminating in his recommended budget.
The mayor also would continue to fund Hooper Detox, providing $639,000 to support 50 percent of its costs, and provide $285,000 for the CHIERS van that picks up intoxicated people, marking a 16 percent reduction from current spending.
We would like to encourage Mayor Hales to implement a Portland bicycle unit in place of the Mounted Patrol which would allow the Mayor to use the projected fund towards schools and community services, as well as avoiding layoffs within the department.
The We support Mayor Hales Proposal to not spend $1.2 million in 2013-14 petition to Mayor Charlie Hales was written by Anne Abrahamsen and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.