EAST CLEVELAND -- Late Wednesday, Mayor Gary Norton said that, due to East Cleveland City Council's $1.2 million (25 percent) reduction in the city's police budget, 10 police officers and 10 dispatchers/records clerks received layoff notices.
Starting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night, Mayor Norton held a community meeting to discuss the impact of council's budegt cuts at the Helen S. Brown Senior Center.
Norton, in a statement Wednesday, said there will be a safety impact for residents.
"Unless city council restores funding, East Cleveland will go from 14 officers on the street to 4 officers on the street, on a typical day. The city council cuts will increase police response times to many calls, and eliminate police response to other calls," Norton wrote.
"The city council cuts will cause the elimination of (the) city's warrant unit, traffic unit and narcotics investigation unit. Clearly, these city council cuts put our citizens at risk by weakening our law enforcement presence and strength."
Regarding the financial impact, he added that "Elimination of the warrant and traffic units will cause the city to lose up to $700,000 in revenue from these operations. For example, decreased traffic and warrant activity leads to fewer court cases, which leads to decreased fine and fee totals. Currently, such cases brought to court generate more than $1 million in revenue annually. We anticipate that this revenue stream will drop by more than 60 percent."
Regarding the impact on other city services, Norton wrote, "The loss of $700,000 in revenue due to council's police budget cut will have a ripple effect on other city services, such as snow removal, street repair, street lighting and vacant/abandoned property mitigation. Essentially, these services are supported by police-generated revenue."
Norton commented on the true costs of the layoffs.
"While council states that its budget cut will save $1.2 million, the council failed to consider the following real costs to the community:
- $400,000 unemployment costs paid to laid off employees
- $50,000 separation costs paid to laid off employees
- $700,000 in lost revenue from fines and fees"