Portland city bureaus are facing steep budget cuts, which could result in cutting police officers from schools and property crime details.
That's according to a proposed budget presented to Mayor Charlie Hales and the City Council this week.
Facing a budget hole of $25 to $30 million, Hales asked the head of each bureau to prepare a budget cutting 10 percent of their current funding level.
[READ THE REQUESTED BUDGETS FOR FY 2013-2014 HERE.]
"The cupboards are bare in the city of Portland," he said.
While it is early in the budget process, the proposed budgets paint a dire picture.
In the Portland Police Bureau, it could mean cutting 10 percent of sworn personnel, including officers from gang enforcement, traffic detail and the neighborhood resource team, among other programs.
The proposed budget would completely eliminate school police officers, the property crimes investigation unit and the mounted patrol unit.
"Our core services, responding to 911 calls and investigating violent crimes, things like that, are something we just can't give up," said Sgt. Pete Simpson, a police spokesman. "Unfortunately, a lot of these other services don't fit that core function."
PPB would like all the services back, said Simpson, but is prepared for some cuts.
"With school police, for example, it doesn't mean we aren't going to respond to emergencies at schools," he said. "What it means is we aren't going to have officer dedicated as school resource officers working in the schools."
The City Council is now reviewing each bureau's budget proposal. Feedback from Portland citizens is important, said Hales.
"We know public safety is very important, we know parks are very important, the arts are very important. Nothing is sacred," said Hales. "And we're going to look at overhead and management cuts before we cut the direct service level that people will see as citizens. Street maintenance or having the restrooms open in the neighborhood park or having a police officer there when you call."
Hales expects to present his final budget to the City Council sometime in May.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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