For clarification, Police Chief Lynn Rowe intimated at the last Council meeting (view here) that this was a change he had been contemplating and that with the loss of two Majors recently at the Police Department the consolidation of two divisions, in essence, puts two more officers on the streets of Springfield.
It's good management on the Chief's part.
My complaint is that it was necessary.
My complaint is that our community is in the position of losing officers and having to combine divisions to spread the resources of the department to better serve our community.
The Community Free Press - Midweek (CFP), July 4 issue, quotes Rowe as saying,
"“We may potentially be down 40 to 45 officers over the next six months or so.”" (Read here, page 4, CFP Midweek - Archive Issues)
In the same issue of CFP, Rowe is quoted as saying:
“I can’t say we haven’t had officers leaving our force and going there (St. Louis and Kansas City), because, typically, they pay more.”
“We lose so many to other departments, the Highway Patrol, and federal agencies. Perhaps it would have made a difference were we able to pay them more.”
There is a reason we are losing officers and Rowe has been put in the position of needing to streamline the Springfield Police Department in an effort to reduce the Department's Personnel budget.
It just seems to me that we should be getting to the root of this problem. The City should remedy it before we find Rowe's department down another 40-45 officers six months from now.
If the City doesn't act soon I wonder which divisions will be consolidated next?
In 2006, City Manager Bob Cumley was paid $181,201.
Assistant City Manager, Evelyn Honea was paid $137,947.
Recently, though at least one council member questioned the necessity, another Assistant City Manager was added to the City's payroll.
Our City's governmental body seems to keep growing while our City's Police Department is facing reduction.
That's just something to think about. Isn't it?