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Kalamazoo City Commission reviews proposed budget for next year


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- City Commissioners huddled yesterday to work on the 2014 budget. Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley says his department is nearing a tipping point on just how effective they can be in the community because he has 40 fewer people on staff as the new budget year will begin.

Most of them left the department as part of the Early Retirement Incentive program, and five more vacant positions are being trimmed to meet budget cuts this coming year.

Hadley says they have had to train 28-new officers and promote 33 current officers and also train them in their new jobs.

He says they have fewer detectives, fewer people in the lab and fewer in the street.

He says the fewer they have on staff, the less pro-active they can be at preventing crimes, and are left just being reactive to reported crimes.

Other departments also reported their plans for the coming year. Parks and recreation may be taking the biggest hit.