Police Chief Not Concerned about Proposed Budget Cuts - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Police Chief Not Concerned about Proposed Budget Cuts

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Mobile’s Police Chief says his department will be able to achieve budget cuts without endangering the public. Mayor Sandy Stimpson is calling for a $5.7 million or 12 percent reduction in the police budget. Police Chief James Barber says that comes as no surprise.

“The process had begun as early as November of last year for me and the police department,” he said.

To reach savings Barber says he’ll reduce salaries by consolidating leadership roles. He will eliminate a precinct, going from five to four. He says that will save $700,000 without reducing patrols.

One of the biggest police costs is recruiting and training. The Chief says reducing the 10-percent annual turnover rate in the force and will save big money without a drop-off in service.

“(Recruits) are not on the ground, they’re not out on the beats and that equates to about $2 million a year of recurring expenses that have nothing to do with the effectiveness of the organization,” said Barber.

Right now, 522 men and women make up the Mobile Police force.

The department goal has been to get to 570, but that level hasn’t been reached in years and Barber is not concerned.

“You really don’t plus up the size of an agency until you can properly equip and take care of the ones that you have,” he said.

Barber says a more efficient and effective force will lead to less turnover and subsequent costs savings.

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