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Manteca expects to lose $100,000 yearly in state funds for police
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California lawmakers are getting ready to pull the plug on a state program that partially justified vehicle license fee increases to provide jurisdictions with law enforcement agencies at least $100,000 for discretionary spending to beef up policing.

Manteca - unlike many cities - does not count on the funding to pay for police salaries and benefits. Many smaller jurisdictions, however, do just that. A number of smaller cities such as Willows in Glenn County that has a six-man department are facing the prospect of losing funding for an officer which will effectively hamper their ability to provide 24-hour police patrols.

Manteca Police Chief Dave Bricker is recommending to the City Council on Tuesday that the city’s $100,000 share of the $5.2 million that will be awarded through the Community Orientated Policing Supplemental Law Enforcement Funding program be spent on purchasing two replacement patrol cars and the equipment necessary to place them in operation.

Bricker noted the Legislative Analyst’s office has recommended the funding for the program be pulled next year and directed elsewhere to close the state’ budget gap that could be as much as $28 billion.

That is why he is recommending the funding be used for one-time capital expenditures.

Manteca’s general fund is facing a shortfall in revenue in the fiscal year starting July 1 that could run as high as $4 million to $4.5 million. City staff has already compiled a list of cuts that could bridge at least part of that gap and is trying to come up with more reductions in expenses.

Employee contracts that are being re-negotiated to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2012 are expected to provide one way of further reducing city expenditures in order to balance the city budget. Manteca has reduced expenses in the last three years of falling revenue to put in place balanced budgets by the time fiscal years start.

Ripon, Lathrop and Escalon also stand to lose the annual $100,000 in police funding from the state.