Atlantic City has had 12 murders this year, 8 of those since June. The PBA says the city can hardly afford the cuts that will bring the number of police officers down to 288.
There are about 1600 city workers and Atlantic City is facing a $10-$15-million budget deficit.
Efforts to raise the state mandated cap on property taxes was rejected by Trenton. Now the city is trying to get a smaller waiver but it still won't save the jobs.
"The city has to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and if we were trying to do that without the layoffs the indication is that the state would not agree to the cap waiver," said Steven Glickman a labor attorney. "We offered them an 8-day furlough package and they refused it. We wanted the layoffs to come off the table and they said absolutely not."
One resident summed up Atlantic City's budget problems this way; the city's crime rate is too high and so are the taxes.
"The crime rate is 17 times higher than the surrounding area and unemployment is through the ceiling and they, you're just adding to it," said Marte King.
Atlantic City and state officials will meet next week to discuss the ongoing budget problems. By then Mayor Lorenzo Landford will be back from what's being called a working vacation in China to promote tourism.