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Crowley Police trying to avoid layoffs during city's financial deficit

Crowley Police trying to avoid layoffs during city's financial deficit
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Posted at 11:19 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 00:31:11-04

Part of our Rebound series includes looking at ways people are making end meet during the coronavirus pandemic.

The economic impact is forcing local governments to do more with less.

The city of Crowley is facing a budget shortfall of more than $1 million dollars and so far, 15 city employees have been laid off.

Over at Crowley Police Department, Chief Jimmy Broussard has been told to do more with less - but how?

"I don't want to see anyone get laid off. In any community, any city the last thing you should do is lay off public safety," says Broussard.

Broussard has been told to make a 7 to 10 percent cut to his department.

"65% of our budget is salary and benefits. We have 42 total people in the police department. So when you're looking a 7 to 10 percent that's a huge cut," says Broussard.

Broussard has started making cuts to additional expenses in the department and limiting patrol services, but says it's the community that will suffer.

"These are your people who keep you safe, who help you in these emergencies and personally speaking, public safety should be your very last thing you ever tried to cut," says Broussard.

Chief Broussard says making these cuts are more than just numbers. He would be forced to lay off family.

"When one of use hurts we all hurt. So the thing I want to try to do is avoid [layoffs] if possible. I'm working numbers everyday to try and get this to a point where we can be amicable," says Broussard.

Crowley Mayor Tim Monceaux says the cuts are necessary to compensate for the $1 million dollar budget shortfall.

"Depending on our budget as we move along and all of our reports that we're continuing to get where we reconcile, and once we reconcile then we'll be able to see the numbers as we move along. We hope and pray that it isn't as bad as we're projecting," says Monceaux

"We don't live in a fantasy world. We recognize sales tax, we know that that's going to be down. The point is at what point is it gonna be down. If the revenue is not as bad as you anticipated or projected, then things could come and could become better," adds Broussard.