As Palm Springs and Riverside County finalize their budgets for the fiscal year ending on June 30, public safety remains a key issue.
On Tuesday Mayor Pro Tem shared a social post stating “Riverside County deserves a budget that prioritizes community, not cops,” prompting a response from the Palm Springs Police Union.
“To say to invest in the community and not police or cops is disappointing because it basically takes what we’ve done over the last several decades and discounted it,” said Sergeant Mike Casavan with the Palm Springs Police Union.
But Holstege isn’t the only council member to comment on police funding, Grace Garner has also been outspoken about the issue.
“Almost one third of our budget goes to policing, we need to ask ourselves why? We need to explore other opportunities to support our residents and improve their quality of life,” said council member Grace Garner.
This week, Palm Springs City Council will finalize their budget for the next two fiscal years, which includes near 30 million dollars annualy for the police force.
However, Sgt. Casavan says his department is already feeling the effects of personnel cuts.
“Some of our support staff have already been laid off, and that affects us especially when it comes to our day to day services that we need as officers, we are certainly concerned that officers could be next,” said Sgt. Casavan.
But City Manager David Ready says their goal is to maintain the same level of community service as they face just over a $70 million deficit.
“Our goal is to keep as many uniformed officers both in police and fire and paramedics as we can,” said David Ready.
The June 24th meeting at 6 pm is the final hearing for the fiscal budget.