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Memo reveals drastic cuts to force, services

Posted at 11:04 AM, Mar 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 06:54:24-05

Tucson police chief Chris Magnus intends to cut $14.5 million from its budget to help make up for the city's budget shortfall. The city faces a fiscal year 2017 budget shortfall of $25.6 million.

As a result, the department will drop its accreditation and special services and through retirement and attrition drop 162 officers from the payroll by July.

Magnus will address the budget cuts at a 2 p.m. press conference. KGUN9 obtained an internal memo dated Tuesday that detailed some of what he plans to announce to the media.

TPD's authorized strength is 992 but actual staffing is already less than that. Chief Magnus plan anticipates attrition reducing the force to as low as 830 but counts on between 40 and 80 recruits in the academy or field training at any given time bringing the force close to 900.

"Obviously, a sworn strength of 808 officers is completely untenable," Magnus wrote in the memo, adding that current contingency plans allow for a level of no fewer than 830 sworn officers. The department is requesting a training supplement that would cost $3.4 million in fiscal year 2017 to add more officers.

The $14.5 million budget cuts include $11.1 million in vacancy savings -- meaning unfilled positions -- $3.3 million in attrition savings and $164,456 in special assignment savings. 

TPD will end its participation in the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, cutting a $70,000 staff position in the process. The Public Information Office will drop from three members to one, and administration including the Executive Officer and Field Services Executive Officer will be reallocated.

TPD will also withdraw eight officers from the Street Crimes Interdiction Unit and five officers each from the Property Crimes Surveillance Unite and Domestic Violence Tactical Unit. In total, 31 officers and four sergeants will leave special assignments and return to the field. Seven burglary detectives, five auto theft detectives and three Major Theft Offenders Unit detectives will be transferred to field services. Special Investigations staff will also no longer receive overtime pay to serve as security for City Council meetings. Instead, Entertainment District personnel will handle security at meetings.

The department will also realign patrol divisions and their boundaries to move officers diverted from other duties into basic patrol.

Magnus wraps up the memo by writing "This comprehensive reorganization seeks to maximize cost savings and improve officer safety, while ensuring that the community continues to receive high quality police services."

Read the complete internal memorandum sent to all Tucson Police Department employees by Chris Magnus.

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