COSTA MESA — Restructuring the Police Department to reduce costs could put the city at risk for more crime and mean fewer officers dedicated to traffic enforcement, narcotics operations and other specialties, the police chief warned.
However, some city officials — now tasked with finding ways to shore up the budget — said there may be little choice but to follow at least some of the city consultant's recommendations to restructure the force. Such reorganization, the consultant claims, would save $1.3 million the first year and $1.8 million annually afterward.
The suggested changes advised by Management Partners Inc. include eliminating three officers, removing a lieutenant position — thus bringing the lieutenant positions down from eight to five — and keeping a police captain position vacant until Sept. 30 to save on wages.
The City Council plans to discuss the changes at Tuesday's meeting as it considers approving the city's fiscal year 2011-12 budget.