In a growing number of cities, government budget problems have severely trimmed down numbers of police. The latest trouble lies in Oakland where the City Council voted to lay off 80 police officers. Now, Oakland has a list of crimes for which you can’t call police for help. In the Eastern Sierra, we remain lucky, so far, to maintain our public safety situation.
In the City of Bishop, Police Chief Kathleen Sheehan has been reviewing her budget line by line. “Times are tough,” said the
Chief. She pointed out that her department concluded a two-year budget a year ago, so she’s fine-tuning what was agreed to. This week, Sheehan met with City Administrator Rick Pucci to go over budget matters. She said she does not anticipate big changes. Sheehan said there would be no major personnel cuts although the department will go from two cadet positions to one next year.
Sheehan is looking at no significant cutbacks but is working to save dollars where she can. “We want to keep the same level of service with less money,” said Sheehan.
In Mammoth Lakes, new Interim Chief Dan Watson will tackle the police budget toward the end of the month. The Town Council continued last fiscal year’s budget for another month to give new Councilmen a chance to weigh in. That will give Chief Watson time to see if anything can be done about the lack of personnel.