El Monte cops worried about budget cuts

El Monte cops say longer response times, less cops on the street and higher crime will be the end result of proposed budget cuts. They took their message to City Hall Tuesday night in hopes of impressing the City Council that no matter how cash poor the city might be it still needs its police force.

Here’s Bethania Palma’s story:

City officials have warned the police department that 14 to 17 officers could be laid off in an effort to manage a ballooning budget deficit. POA officials said Tuesday they hoped President Barack Obama’s signing of the stimulus bill and the possible pending resolution of the state budget could help resolve the need for such lay-offs.

“It’s going to kill the police department and it’s a slap in the face to the people that live and work here,” said El Monte police Detective Eric Walterscheid, the association’s vice president. “It’s going to disrupt the department’s ability to protect the city.”

Some said losing more than a dozen officers could jeopardize public safety and result in a longer wait before help arrives in some types of calls

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