[Matthew Apgar / Daily Chronicle]
The DeKalb Police Department, which proposed a plan to hire seven new officers over the next three years, was forced to cut three full-time positions and two part-time positions to meet the 5 percent reduction.
Additional police cuts included the elimination of the crossing guard program starting in 2018, which saves $50,000. As crossing guards are not a core police service, this was preferred over the removal of sworn personnel.
The proposed addition of a deputy police chief to help increase patrol oversight and effectiveness also was eliminated, saving more than $74,000.
DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery said that the reductions the police face pale in comparison to the other city departments, which he is both grateful for and saddened by.
“The reductions in all departments have a systemic impact,” Lowery said.
Lowery added that fiscal management is the right thing to do, but if the council limits the responsibility to only meeting short-term goals, it will only be a small victory.