02/17/2011

Calif. city warns of 349 officer layoff

It would slash close to a quarter of San Jose's public safety employees

By Sean Webby
San Jose Mercury News

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sketching out a worst-case scenario of San Jose's budget meltdown, city officials warned this week that they could lay off as many as 349 police officers and 145 firefighters, slashing close to a quarter of the city's public safety employees.

The city is also looking at millions of dollars in other cuts, including shutting off neighborhood streetlights for much of the night and eliminating some gang-prevention programs.

There has never been a major layoff of police officers in the city's modern history. But last year San Jose laid off 49 firefighters, and this is the second year in a row the Police Department has faced layoffs.

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