Proposed cuts to the Anderson police force to ease spending in the city would cause problems for the public and police alike, the police union said in announcing plans to protest.
The 2013 city spending plan offered by Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith cuts seven police officer and 20 firefighter positions, leaving the city with 107 police officers and 104 firefighters. The police union planned to picket outside City Hall before a City Council meeting Thursday night.
Fraternal Order of Police president Scott Calhoun said the force can't afford to lose that many people and that cuts would make the job more dangerous and risk public safety, The Herald Bulletin reported. He said the mayor's office hasn't talked with the police union about how cuts could be made in the city of about 56,000 people.
"One loss of one police officer is going to be detrimental to this city," Calhoun said.
City Controller Sam Pellegrino said the city about 30 miles northeast of Indianapolis faces ongoing property tax revenue declines and cuts have already been made to other departments.
"The last thing I want to do is lay off employees," Pellegrino said. "I do not wish this on anyone. We really tried to make this as minimal as possible."
Deeper police and fire department cuts were anticipated until officials learned recently the city would receive an unexpected infusion of $1.2 million in local income tax revenue. Officials were contemplating dropping to 95 police officers and 95 firefighters.
A case is pending in a Madison County court over the city's attempt to invalidate parts of the firefighters union contract to cut jobs from that department.