Bracing for the budget cuts - Philadelphia News

November 6, 2008 9:25:54 PM PST
Mayor Nutter said today this is going to be tough and now that we know what cuts are being made, many are bracing for the implications they may have on the city.The Logan Branch is one of the ten libraries that will be closing as a result of the cuts Mayor Nutter announced today.

The budget cuts don't stop there.

Mayor Nutter announced that although there would be no layoffs, overtime would be cut for police and firefighters.

A measure that is disconcerting to the Fraternal Order of Police.

James Wheeler says the overtime is more about safety and less about extra cash in officer's pockets.

"When you start slicing down or cutting back you have fewer police, they see fewer things, they're slower to get and respond to calls and things can fall apart quickly," Wheeler said.

Police Commissioner Ramsey says slashing overtime will not impede the police department's efforts to slash violence. Ramsey says the department is committed to getting violence down in Philadelphia and added that overtime is not being cut completely.

"The bottom line is it needs to be preapproved by a supervisor, you just don't decide for yourself you're going to work over, and we need to question the reason why and if the reason is valid, then do it," Ramsey said.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers spent the entire day telling firefighters in person about the cuts. He assured them no one would lose their job but many of them would be relocated because of engine and ladder company closings.

That wasn't enough for residents in Fishtown. They gathered tonight outside of Engine 6 to angrily protest plans to reassign some of the equipment and firefighters here.

The FOP says if they city is going to cut overtime it should look at cutting costs from the top too, for example, the commissioner and deputy commissioner's salary.

A spokesperson for the commissioner said Ramsey and the deputies are taking five day furlough this year.

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