By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lathrop police layoffs still the $64 question
Placeholder Image
LATHROP — It’s still not known if there will be layoffs in the Lathrop Police Services as the city looks for ways to bridge the estimated $2.5 million budget deficit.

The first round of potential layoffs were announced Thursday by interim City Manager Cary Keaten during a meeting with SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and announced the proposed elimination of up to 15 positions, including five that have been budgeted but as yet have not been filled. Eight of the 10 city workers who stand to lose their jobs once the City Council approves this first phase of budget cost-cutting measures, are members of SEIU with three of them in the Parks and Recreation Department’s maintenance division alone, essentially wiping out the entire service crew of the department.

Instituting mandatory furloughs is another cost-saving possibility that will be looked at if further financial trimming is needed to balance the lean budget, Keaten said.

It is still being decided whether layoffs in the Lathrop Police Services will be part of the budget-trimming process. The Manteca Bulletin has learned that Sheriff Steve Moore met with city officials on Thursday but no other details have been released.

Lathrop contracts its police services with the county through its Sheriff’s Office. The Lathrop Police staff headed by Chief Dolores Delgado is made up of 26 sworn officers and four office staff for a total of 30 employees. The department has one budgeted position, that of Community Impact Resources, but no one so far has been hired. Whether that unfilled position will be eliminated is part of the decision that city officials will have to decide.

It will be up to the council to decide how much police protection they can afford to contract with the Sheriff’s Office and not vice versa.

Councilman Sonny Dhaliwal admitted, “The ball is in our court.” However, he said he hasn’t seen any of the numbers being crunched yet to merit a comment.

But voicing the question that is on everybody’s mind, he said, “Can the city afford to downsize its police force?”

In response to his own question, he said, “We don’t want to; I hope we don’t have to. But public safety has always been our top priority and always will be. We’ll do the best we can with the resources we have.”

In addition to the three maintenance positions recommended for elimination in the ongoing budget-cutting process are those of the building inspector, assistant planner, associate planner and permit technician in the Community Development Department, an office assistant in the city manager’s office, and four positions that are being held by non-union members.