Saturday, March 6, 2010
Waiting List for Cops
"The bleak arithmetic of the recession has pushed cities across the nation to make deep cuts in police, fire and emergency medical services. ... Others have announced they will no longer respond to entire categories of calls, such as burglaries, check fraud, shoplifting and traffic accidents involving minor injuries. ... Public safety, considered a core government duty by voters on the left and right alike, has traditionally been protected from belt-tightening despite the fact that it consumes a big chunk of most budgets. ... Public safety accounts for 22% of general municipal spending nationally, according to US Census Bureau data. That's second only to education, which accounts for about 27%. ... Colorado Springs police no longer will deal with abandoned vehicles unless they pose a hazard. Officers are unlikely to respond to property crimes unless they have a solid lead on a suspect. ... Some police chiefs said the lean budgets have pushed them to do better. San Diego Chief Bill Lansdowne trimmed a number of specialized units to same money--including narcotics, canine and harbor safety--but assigned more officers to beat patrol", Stephanie Simon at the WSJ, 13 February 2010, link:
Property crime? Narcotics? What next? Will some cities stop enforcing prostitution laws? Stay tuned. Still want to hold muni bonds?