Six months ago, Mammoth Lakes Police Officers took a 16% cut in wages. Management has now asked to take more cuts with the possibility that this move might save some of the police officer positions.
Police Chief Dan Watson laid out his plan of police service under the orders from the Town Council to cut $1.1 million out of his budget. As he said, most of the budget, 75%, goes to personnel so this is where the cuts happened. Initially, the Town Council called for seven police officers to be cut. That’s what Chief Watson will do as of July 1st unless, as he said publicly, the Police Officers Association comes up with more concessions.
The Town Council has called a special meeting for Thursday at 11am in a closed session. The agenda says the Council will meet with Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht regarding the Mammoth Lakes Peace Officers Association.
The significant cuts made in the police department compared to other departments left officers angry and hurt. Morale has plummeted and several officers have retired or gone to other departments. Those left will negotiate with Wilbrecht.
Chief Watson made it clear that police coverage will not be around the clock under the new cuts and that certain lesser crimes will not be dealt with.