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Goal: No more police layoffs
Last resort is thinning ranks of 55 Manteca officers
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City Manager Steve Pinkerton has his marching orders: The goal is to make $4.5 million in budget cuts by June 30 without cutting the ranks of Manteca’s 55 sworn police officers.

“That’s the goal,” Pinkerton said.

Whether it can be attained depends on how the city is able to close the gap between expenditures and projected revenue.

Of the 55 officers, 11 positions are funded with Measure M half cent public safety sales tax and two of the remaining 44 with a public safety endowment fund sent up with growth fees paid by developers.

The remaining 42 positions are covered by the general fund where the city is expected to have a $4.5 million shortfall develop over the course of the next fiscal year starting July 1 unless expenses are whittled back.

The city 18 months ago released 12 officers after the bargaining group declined to follow the lead of other municipal workers and forgo pre-negotiated raises as well as contributed more toward certain benefits.

Police Chief Dave Bricker noted that the department comprises about 40 percent of the general fund. The department, according to Bricker, will need to find savings of $1 million.

Bricker noted Manteca’s budget issues are no different than surrounding cities although they are better than in Stockton. Bricker noted police there are anticipating they may end up not responding to an average of 500 low level calls for service a day from residents once needed cuts take place. Stockton has already reduced their patrol ranks.