Police deal in Spokane to save 12 jobs next year - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Police deal in Spokane to save 12 jobs next year

SPOKANE, Wash. - A tentative deal between city leaders and the Spokane Police Guild will help save 12 police officer jobs next year.

The Spokesman-Review reports that a two-year deal was struck this week and announced Wednesday by city administrators. The police guild was the last city union to reach a tentative agreement, hoping that concessions would help prevent layoffs. City officials said without the agreement, the police department would loss 22 positions, although attrition and a hiring freeze would have led to only two layoffs.

If the agreement gets ratified by the union membership and the Spokane City Council, the city believes it will hire 10 officers next year, the newspaper reports.

The union concessions are part of mayor Mary Verner's 2010 budget strategy hoping to make up half of an expected $7 million deficit through the union deals.

Police Chief: Service will change in wake of budget cuts

(November 3, 2009)

Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick has known cuts were coming to her department for a while and following Monday night's 2010 budget proposal by Mayor Mary Verner, she has a better idea of just how many officers she'll have to do without.

As of Tuesday, the department will be forced to cut 22 positions, though that number could change as the City of Spokane is in ongoing negotiations with the Police Guild.

Lessening the blow to actual personnel is the fact that Kirkpatrick was preparing for the cuts by not filling 20 vacant positions within the department, bringing the total number of people that actually may lose their jobs to two.

While patrol and 911 will not be affected by the cuts, Kirkpatrick warned that Spokane residents will notice a change in services the police department provides.

"When I came in 2006 we were still rebounding from the 2004 cut and at the time... we were unable to get to people's property crimes because we have to make people crimes a priority over property crimes," said Kirkpatrick. "That's what we'll be returning to."

Mayor Verner's budget proposal and the projected cuts to the Spokane Police Department come at a time when car thefts are the highest they've been all year in Spokane.

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