LINCOLN (CBS13) — In the city of Lincoln, they are laying off police officers and hiring administrators, and residents want to know why.
It was just last week when four new job openings were posted for the city of Lincoln, which is just three days after a recommendation to lay off cops.
The reason for the decision, like most California cities, was to balance a budget with nearly a million dollar deficit.
“We are looking at the overall budget; general fund unfortunately is our police, fire, parks and recreation, all very important services to our residences,” says Jill Thompson.
On May 10, the city council recommended cuts especially to police and library, which were perhaps necessary measures, but the timing of it all was not so good.
“With a broad brush without knowing how positions are funded, it would look bad,” says Thompson.
There are only two positions now posted on the city’s website; one for a Principal Accountant position that pays between $37-$50 per hour with benefits, and the other is a seasonal lifeguard, which pays $8 per hour with no benefits.
“The possibility of losing an additional four officers will impact what we are able to do on the street,” explains Chief Paul Shelgren, Lincoln Police Department.
Chief Shelgren says his department has already been cut in half, and he’s not pleased but knows that tough decisions must be made.
“You can’t hold any animosity towards anyone for that when you look at the numbers. You have to crunch numbers and look at this as a business sense,” says Chief Shelgren.
Still, those who rely on Lincolns finest are frustrated.
“The seasonal lifeguard position, that totally makes sense, but the full time positions I don’t see how that makes sense when they are laying off police officers,” said Cindy Prentice, Lincoln resident.
At the end of the day, no final decision has been made on the cuts, but everyone knows they’re coming, likely sometime in June.