Acadia

Jul 7, 2011 11:57 PM by Maddie Garrett

Crowley Community Protests City Job Cuts

A slew of positions are on the chopping block for the City of Crowley, but those budget cuts won't be made without a fight from the community. Dozens of community members showed up at Thursday Finance Committee meeting to show their support for city workers, especially at the fire and police departments.

Originally nine police officers and seven firefighters were included a total of 24 city positions set to be eliminated from Crowley's budget next year. In the end, some positions were saved, while others remain lost to budget cuts.

City employees fought for their jobs and citizens stood up to show their support. Many were wearing bright yellow shirts for the police and fire departments.

"The reason I'm here, with the yellow shirts, is to support our city, the fire department, the police department and every worker that works for the city," said Delores M. Handy, a support and also city worker.

The City of Crowley has a $1.1 million deficit and is slicing the budget wherever possible, including 24 city jobs

"Every position is important to us in the city of Crowley, the fire and police are essential," said Mayor Pro Tem Steven Premeaux.

That was the argument today, that Crowley couldn't afford to lose any more emergency personnel. So committee members voted to add all firefighter positions back into next year's budget.

"With our fire department, if we lose anymore we would lose our Number 2 fire rating, which would mean everyone's fire insurance, homeowner's policy would increase. So it would effect everyone in the City of Crowley directly," explained Premeaux.

And all police officer positions were added back, except two communications officer positions.

"We're still going to have to make a $100,000 to $120,000 cut in our budget. But we're at least moving in the right direction, it's way better than nine police officers we were going to lose," said Police Chief K. P. Gibson.

The Crowley City Council will have to vote on the proposed budget next Tuesday, and then it will go to a public hearing in August, meaning nothing is set in stone just yet.

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