NOTE: This blog looks long. Read it anyway—or skip to bullet points for the hair raising information.
Finances at the city of Bend are getting tight and, to be real frank, the sh*t is starting to hit the fan, particularly for the Bend Police Department.
Police Chief Jeff Sale gave a super bleak presentation to the Bend City Council last night about what will happen if the department does not get more cash.
Basically, the department will have to gut programs, lay off staff and pull back services A LOT, said the chief.
Here’s the plan he laid out last night. Keep in mind it’s just a proposal. The city could allocate more resources to the department and make this plan go away, he said. But if city councilors do that, they probably have to take cash from something else. In other words, see the first paragraph of this little blog.
2012 Proposed Service Reductions
- Elimination of Youth Enhancement Services program, which is like diversion for kids who commit low level crimes like shop lifting, smoking, etc.
- Stop investigating credit card fraud if the victim gets reimbursed
- No more property crime and theft investigations under $100,000, unless the person is over 65
2013 Proposed Service Reductions
- Reduction in responses to calls for barking dogs, noisy parties, etc.
- No more investigation into prostitution unless it involves a minor
- No more burglary investigation unless it appears to be a serial crime
- Stop looking into computer related crime
2014 Proposed Service Reductions
- No more property crime and theft investigation under $250,000, unless person is over 65 or has a disability
- Stop proactive searches for people in possession of child porn
- Stop looking into most runaway cases
2015 Proposed Service Reductions
- Eliminate the School Resource Officer Program
- No more suspicious death investigations
- No more investigation into any property crime and theft
- Stop looking into missing people cases unless foul play is suspected
2016 Proposed Service Reductions
- Eliminate traffic division
- Stop investigating arson
- Stop investigating robbery
- Stop investigating sex abuse/rape unless the person is under 14, over 65, or has a disability
The result of all this is layoffs every single year, said the chief.
The effect of the presentation was generally to scare the hell out of the city councilors. One council said it’s like a public service announcement for criminals. Come to Bend, criminals, we don’t have the resources to catch you...
Sale said to the department needs two or three new full-time staff positions a year, which translates to about $200,000-$300,000 per year.
You can weigh in by contacting city councilors. Find their info by going to this webpage and clicking on the "City Council Roster" link. Next council meeting will be held May 16 at City Hall, 710 NW Wall St.