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Police Department to lose two employees

Chief grudgingly accepts reduction

Sept. 19, 2012

The Police Department will lose two positions in the 2013 budget, including one sworn officer, and Police Chief Barry Weber said the department has given about all that it can give.

"We've reached the point in our budget where there are no more cuts, no more cushions, no room for anything," he said at a budget meeting last week.

He warned the aldermen: "Your decisions here are going to have an impact on everybody who lives and works in this city."

Weber said he foresees the possibility in the future of reducing supervisors, "which doesn't bode well."

The budget projects a decrease in expenditures of 2.7 percent over the current year's estimated figure, bringing the police budget down to about $14.7 million. The actual figure won't be known until the year's end.

One of the two positions to be lost is a vacant clerk's job, a savings of $38,361. The person in this post worked third shift and was responsible for, among other things, taking requests for permission to park overnight. That function is now performed by one of two dispatchers, which in the chief's eyes reduces the readiness of the dispatching center.

The second job to be cut is the position of an administrative officer, a savings of $88,361. The person in that job is expected to retire.

The administrative officer monitors equipment, handles videos, equips new squad cars, and sets up cars in use so they all are equipped the same, among other things. He also spends one day a week at court, handling traffic cases. These duties will have to be distributed among other members of the department, Weber said.

"I don't want to lose that position, but I don't want to take cops off the street, either," he said.

Of the budget, he said, "Can we live with this one? Yes. Are we happy with this one? I'd say no."

In addition to these cuts, Weber said it is likely that as many as 13 officers - 15 percent of the force - will retire in 2013. The department can effectively train about four officers at a time.

There are 94 officers in the Wauwatosa Police Department, and 26 civilian employees.

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