Chico Police Chief Speaks Out Against Proposed Budget Cuts

Jun 6, 2013 4:46 PM

Chico Police Department Chief Kirk Trostle released this statement moments ago regarding the recommended budget and personnel reductions to his force:

“I can appreciate the City Manager’s daunting task in balancing a $4.8 million budget deficit, but I must boldly oppose the preliminary budget recommendation that decimates the law enforcement component of public safety in the City of Chico. You can replace a house, but you cannot replace the physical and emotional scars of being a victim. A community member, quoted recently in the Chico Enterprise Record said, the feeling of being violated is a terrible thing and it will change someone forever.

This recommended reduction in the provision of law enforcement services to our community has already been felt by our citizens over the last three years. This substantial budget reduction in police services will now be felt to a larger degree. Impacts to the community will result in increased response times to critical incidents and the lessening of service in responding to property crimes, public nuisances, and civil matters.

The preliminary budget recommendation causes disparity for the police department in the City’s public safety sector. This is not a good public policy direction for our community. The police department is the primary responder for all law enforcement needs of the citizens of Chico. There is no regular or automatic safety net that exists for the police department as there is with other first responders/ emergency medical services within the City.

The police department must be adequately funded or the continual propagation of the idea that Chico is unsafe will worsen. The unintended consequence of this budget choice could negatively impact the enrollments at CSU, Chico and Butte College which have a direct impact on our City’s ability to economically thrive. This budget recommendation bulldozes the police department and will harm our economic climate and jeopardize the belief that Chico is a safe place to raise a family, an ideal place for business, and a premier place to live.”

According to the Chief’s statement, the preliminary budget proposal would reduce the Chico Police Department’s Budget by $2,496,094. The reduction would also include the elimination of one lieutenant, three sergeants, 10 police officers, three community service officers, one crime analyst and one animal control supervisor. The statement also indicated the department receives over 91,200 calls a year.


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