Budget Forcing Spokane Police To Cut 45 Personnel

SPOKANE - Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick broke some bad news to officers during a closed door meeting: The force will cut nearly 9-percent from its budget, lay off 45 positions and eliminate the entire fraud division.

?Kind of like the kitchen talk you have at home with family, difficult talk with the family, and this morning was the talk to put the family on notice of what those budget cuts will look like,? Chief Kirkpatrick said.

The budget proposal for the department is on Mayor Mary Verner?s desk for her review and there is a chance the mayor might find the cuts too severe and recommend cuts elsewhere in the city budget.

Unless something changes 45 positions will be slashed, putting the department in the position of doing more with less, Chief Kirkpatrick said. Of those 45 positions, 37 are police officers.

In addition to the position cuts, 25 detectives, sergeants and lieutenants will be demoted and paid less.

That means if the budget proposal stands as is in many cases there will be no police response to theft or property crime calls.

?If my car is prowled, my whole day is ruined, we've all been victims it ruins your whole day,? Kirkpatrick said.

And to make your day worse, it is likely that police will not respond to your call.

Additionally, the entire fraud unit will be cut

?The fraud unit will be totally eliminated, meaning we will not do any follow up investigation associated with fraud,? Kirkpatrick said.

Unless something changes regarding the budget 45 people will be receiving layoff notices on October 1.

And unless something changes 45 people will get lay off notices on October 1

Mayor Verner then has until November 1 to review the budget and the city council has until December 1 to approve it.