Layoff notices for 250 police officers are being prepared
The Baltimore police department has submitted to City Hall a list of 250 officers who would be laid off if the budget gap is not closed, officials said.
The cuts are based on union-mandated requirements that would result in the most recent hires being the first out. The patrol division would be the hardest hit, and the officers who could be laid off include 50 officers recently hired using $10 million in federal stimulus money, which officials say would have to be given back.
Layoffs notices have been sent or are being prepared for other city employees across departments, and fire officials released details on the three city fire companies that face closure if no new funds are found. City officials say they remain hopeful that the plans represent only doomsday scenarios as the council works on new revenue streams.
But police commanders were privately expressing concern about morale; the notices will be going out as officers are being asked to be particularly diligent following an explosion of violence over the weekend that left eight people dead and continued Tuesday with another two killings.
Speaking after an event, Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake said the spate of violence underscored the importance of the city "having every police officer we can on the street. That’s why I’m pushing so hard for the comprehensive revenue package.”
“The City Council has a lot on their plate, but we’re hopeful and optimistic that they will pass the mayor’s revenue package,” Guglielmi said.
In the meantime, police say they have not been hampered by the budget woes. “The mayor made it very clear to the commissioner over the weekend that whatever resources the BPD needed, those would not be hampered,” Guglielmi said.