NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The City of New Haven has approved its budget for 2020-2021 Monday night and revealed some major cuts.
The majority of the cuts are from the police department. A total of 48 positions were eliminated or reduced to $1 or an 11% reduction in the size of the force. The city will also cut $4 million from the NHPD's budget.
The mayor's office acknowledged the difficulty of having a reduced staff, especially to supply officers walking beats. Supervisor transfers are also expected because fewer supervisor positions will exist.
Mayor Justin Elicker released a statement on the budget cuts which also include money cuts from the Board of Alders:
"This budget is a reflection of tough financial decisions precipitated by the City’s increasing financial obligations. The budget is also a reflection of our values as a City and the challenges we face balancing the tax burden with providing services to residents – many of whom are struggling in our City. While we will always work to identify more efficiencies, these are real decisions that have a real impact on the services we deliver. With the additional $2M of cuts approved by the Board of Alders, we’re eliminating 21 additional positions on top of the 80 positions initially proposed for a total of 101 positions.
These cuts will impact City services. They will: reduce our ability to enforce public space violations, increase the likelihood of reassigning district managers in the New Haven Police Department more frequently because of a reduction in positions, reduce services to seniors, reduce some library hours, slow the repair schedule for Parks and Public Works projects, and further reduce support for the arts.
These are not decisions I want to make. The Board of Alders and I have the same goal to strike the right balance between high taxes and services we provide. We may not land exactly on the same page as to how exactly to strike that balance. Still, we can acknowledge that these are difficult decisions, and there is no easy answer."
Though NHPD has suffered a significant financial hit, the city did not make any cuts to youth services, and homeless services, while making small cuts to other services.
Below is the approved city budget: