Redlands Police Department leveled by cutbacks

REDLANDS — Police will need to rely on citizen volunteers and some recently pink-slipped workers to carry on after citywide budget cuts leveled the department.

Some 40 jobs were cut within the past two weeks citywide, including 21 sworn peace officer positions. The Redlands City Council enacted the cuts due to economic troubles.

“Our reaction to the budget crisis is not a passive one,” said police Chief Jim Bueermann. “We are taking the budget we have and we are aggressively trying to rework the system to be able to provide the services people expect from us.”

Meanwhile, the Wackenhut Services, which provides various city police agencies with personnel to do routine work such as fingerprinting, transporting prisoners and various other tasks, was excised from the city’s budget. Local police officials must now perform these duties.

Nearly 100 sworn officers were part of the Redlands police force in early 2007. By the end of 2010, the department may have only a quarter of that. Part of the layoffs may include the department’s forensics and record management staffs.

Some positions have been lost because of retirements. Bueerman said officers leaving, for whatever reason, won’t be replaced. The department lost more civilian employees than sworn officers, including some that have worked for Redlands police for more than 20 years.

Redlands, which just opened a temporary jail, will no longer have full-time assistance in running that facility. Instead of Wackenhut Services, sworn police officers must now do their own booking, fingerprinting and transporting to the county jail.

To shore up the lost services, a 20-year-old program — Citizen Volunteer Patrol — may be called on more often to assist police in their performance of duties.

Redlands Police Department leveled by cutbacks was last modified: July 19th, 2012 by admin
Categories: California, San Bernardino