New Haven Could Lose 20 Officers to Budget Cuts

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Artie Ojeda

As New Haven deals with its budget crisis, it will be facing some tough choices. One of those on the table is making cuts to the city's police department and taking as many as 20 officers off the street.

It would be the first time in more than 40 years that budget cuts would include public safety positions and some people in New Haven say it's not the right time.

"It seems like a lot of stuff goes down that's kind of scary, and I think I'd feel a lot less safe knowing that some policemen have been laid off," Rhetta Nadas, a student at Yale University in New Haven, said.
"I don't really agree with it. I think we need all law enforcement we can get with all the crime going on. We need 'em," said John Gehm of New Haven.
Last week, New Haven Police said they were looking for a serial rapist who sexually assaulted at least five women in New Haven. That prompted people to ask for more police protection, not less.
"They should focus on where they're really using those police and using them effectively," Layne Johnson, another Yale student, said.
However, other people said they'd rather see cuts to the police department than cuts to other city services.
"Education is more important to me than a cop on every corner," Matthew Daly, of New Haven, said.
"Like so many other cities in America and so many working families, New Haven is facing difficult financial choices. The administration is examining areas for savings across all city departments. We are seeking solutions that are fair to residents and fair to taxpayers," a spokesperson for Mayor John DeStefano said in a statement,
The New Haven Independent reports that police union officials offered up one furlough day per officer to prevent layoffs, but the mayor said it wouldn't close the budget gap.
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