City of Yakima Hoping To Save Money By Cutting Police Officers
Yakima city leaders are talking about the budget and cuts may be on the way to the Yakima Police Department. A special study session budget meeting is set for 4:00 pm Tuesday at the Yakima Convention Center.
CAN THE DEPARTMENT AFFORD TO CUT OFFICERS TO SAVE MONEY?
Yakima Police are already short on officers and they've been working for years to build the force. Now the department is being asked to help save the city money by cutting the police budget. Currently city officials say the Yakima Police Department is budgeted for 143 sworn police officers. However the actual number of sworn police officers on the street has been near or below 130 since Chief Matthew Murray was appointed in 2019.
THE CITY CUTS COULD LEAVE YAKIMA WITH FEWER OFFICERS
City officials say that equates to a ratio of 1.47 officers per 1,000 community members.
But the numbers worsen when proposed cuts are figured into the equation. City officials say with "the proposed staffing reductions the ratio for Yakima would be 1.31 per 1000 city residents. The State of Washington ranks 51st in the United States, including Washington DC with 1.38 commissioned officers per 1,000 in population.
THE DEPARTMENT IS PROPOSING TO CUT 10 OPEN POSITIONS
Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray has identified areas in the police budget where the city could save more than $2 million.
Proposed Preliminary Budget Reductions;
Eliminate Third Captain Position 1 Police Captain saving the city $187,147.07
Rotate Police Recruiting Officer to Patrol Neutral – rotate back to
patrol when vacancies filled. Salary Absorbed by Patrol.
Eliminate in-Home Detention Program 1 Corrections Administrative Specialist saving the city $93,458.80.
Eliminate Vacant Police Officer Positions 10 Police Officers saving the city $1,520,079.50.
Eliminate Services Manager 1 Services Manager. The city saves $156,967.81.
Eliminate Crime Free Housing and Stop Fingerprinting Service saving the city $163,315.52.
The cuts in the Yakima Police Department would save the city a total of $2,120,968.70
The city study session to talk about the proposed cuts is set for 4:00 pm Tuesday at the Yakima Convention Center Room G.