Firefighter Jobs Could Be Cut In Yakima To Save Money
Some big budget cuts could impact police and fire departments in the city of Yakima this year as city leaders look to save money. City officials are looking to cut 10% from all city departments to help balance the budget by 2025.
THE POLICE CHIEF PROPOSED CUTS LAST WEEK NOW IT'S FIRES TURN
Last week Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray talked about the Yakima Police Department budget with the chief proposing to cut 11 Officer positions as well as other cuts in the department that could save more than $2 million.
Now the Yakima Fire Department is next. Yakima Fire Chief Aaron Markham will appear in front of the Yakima City Council on Tuesday at the Yakima Harmon Center on North 65th Avenue. During the meeting Markham is expected to propose cuts that would result in the closure of Yakima Fire Station 92 at 7707 Tieton Drive and the loss of 12 firefighter positions.
A SPECIAL MEETING IS SET FOR 4:00 PM TUESDAY
Markham will meet with council members starting at 4:00 pm on Tuesday.
Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray knows the police budget takes up a large portion of the city budget so he knows no matter what happens it will be felt in the department. The cuts come at a time when the department is looking for future officers.
THE NUMBER OF OFFICERS ON THE STREET HAS REMAINED STEADY
Currently city officials say the Yakima Police Department is budgeted for 143 sworn police officers. However the actual number of sworn police officers on the street has been near or below 130 since Chief Matthew Murray was appointment in 2019.
COULD FEWER OFFICERS MEAN MORE CRIME IN THE CITY?
City officials say that equates to a ratio of 1.47 officers per 1,000 community members.
But the numbers worsen when proposed cuts are figured into the equation. City officials say with "the proposed staffing reductions the ratio for Yakima would be 1.31 per 1000 city residents. The State of Washington ranks 51st in the United States, including Washington DC with 1.38 commissioned officers per 1,000 in population."
Yakima city officials must eventually make tough decisions to balance the budget and not experience shortfalls in the future.