Police chief outlines proposed budget cuts
San Diego's police chief says public safety is at risk if Prop D does not pass. The Police Department will have to come up with $15.9 million to cut from their 2012 budget.
Chief William Landsdowne said the Mayor told him to respond to the proposed budget cuts, and his response was that the Police Department could possibly lose 169 sworn positions. That would include a Captain, two Lieutenants, 20 Sargents and 30 more Detectives.
Several of these eliminated units include the Homeless Outreach Team, Narcotics, the bike team in the Gaslamp District, and Juvenile Services.
If Prop D does not pass, in order for the Police Department to make the budget work and keep officers on the street, Chief Landsdowne said he would have to close two stations, “We have 9 divisions in the San Diego Police Department. I would close down two.”
Chief Landsdowne also noted that the Police Department is San Diego's first line of defense and that crime will continue to rise if he is forced to lay-off Officers.
Response times would also go up. Calls are currently answered in 4 seconds but that could go up to 12 seconds, meaning more calls would go unanswered. Last year alone there was an estimated 100 thousand dropped calls.
The Chief wouldn't get into the politics of Prop D, to him this is about money and about public safety, he said “San Diego Police Officers have been stabbed, shot, murdered on the streets of San Diego defending the very essence of what we're talking about, public safety, and that public safety is being jeopardized as I speak.”
Finally, there would be no cops dispatched to calls that are not an emergency. Those calls will be handled by phone, or the caller will have to come down to police headquarters.