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Layoffs of police officers, firefighters possible

Posted: Friday, May 17th, 2013

WATSONVILLE — Pink slips went out to some personnel in the Watsonville Police Department Thursday, Police Chief Manny Solano said, as the City Council is faced with a potentially unbalanced budget during a special meeting on Tuesday.

Firefighters could also be laid off if an agreement is not reached, according to a report by Ezequiel Vega, administrative services director.

If concessions cannot be agreed upon with some labor groups, including Fire, Police and Service Employees International Union, the total deficit city-wide would be $3.1 million, affecting about 29 full-time positions.

For the Police Department, that would mean the elimination of the Police Activities League, laying off three police officers and two demotions.

"Understanding the city is in a serious state of financial distress, it is my hope we will be able to stem the tide of further cuts to our already decimated police department," Solano said.

Three police officers received pink slips, Solano said. In addition, one sergeant was notified that he may be demoted to officer, and one lieutenant may be demoted to sergeant, he said. Also, one police activities coordinator was notified that she may be laid off.

These reductions are expected to save the city more than $700,000, according to Vega.

For the complete article see the 05-18-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-18-2013 paper.

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