Portland Police: Budget cuts would prevent new hires
Portland agency budget requests for the next fiscal year are now posted online at the City Budget Office webpage.
Mayor Ted Wheeler has directed all agencies to submit requests with 5% cuts in their General Fund revenues to offset projected revenues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
All General Fund agencies submitted budget requests with 5% cuts, but most said services would be reduced and included "add back" packages to restore at least some of them.
This included the Portland Police Bureau, which also said the 5% cut would prevent it from filling any vacancies in the fiscal year that begins on July 1. The bureau currently has 100 vacancies and more officers are scheduled to retire.
"The PPB faces a future that is not abundantly optimistic. The proposed FY2021-22 budget includes a 5% General Fund reduction package totaling $10.1 million and sets the general PPB operating costs at $224 million. This amount reflects a $2.9 million reduction in overtime costs. According to the PPB, these reductions will prevent new and replacement hires due to budget constraints," the bureau wrote in its request.
Other agencies that predicted the 5% cut would reduce services include:
• Portland Fire & Rescue, which said a 5% cut of over $6 million would increase response times and fully close one fire station, partially close another, eliminate all four rapid response vehicles in East Portland, and decommission a fire boat.
"Fire engines and trucks would be less available, response times would increase, property damage from fire would increase, and survivability on medical emergencies would decrease," the request said. "The reductions would also push several of PF&R's busiest units to an unsustainable level of call volume."
• The Portland Bureau of Transportation said it would have to install 850 fewer streetlights than initially promised under an initiative to add lighting along high-crash corridors.
• The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability proposed nearly $400,000 in salary cuts.
• The City Attorney's Office proposed eliminating a deputy city attorney position.
Mayor Ted Wheeler will now release a proposed budget that will be considered and finalized by the City Council by early June.
Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune and contributed to this story. Their story can be found here.
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