The belt-tightening at Hartford city hall has led to the postponement of an upcoming class of police recruits.
The class of 30, which was scheduled to begin a six-month training course in April, will instead begin in July.
The postponement is expected to save the city $250,000 this fiscal year, which city analysts are predicting could end with an $8 million deficit.
"Right now, we're not expecting this to have a negative impact," Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts said Monday of the postponement. "We're trying to work with the mayor's office to be fiscally responsible and still maintain safety for the residents of Hartford."
Roberts, whose goal is to increase department staffing from its current level of about 460 to between 500 and 550, said the delay will allow more recruiting time and the chance to get better candidates.
Roberts said he hasn't been guaranteed a July start for the recruit class, but is hopeful. "Let's face it, there's no money out there," he said.
Sarah Barr, director of communications for Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez, said Monday that the postponement of the recruit class is just one of several initiatives the city has undertaken to reduce the deficit, but added that Perez is committed to funding a recruit class in July.
"Public safety is still our biggest priority," Barr said.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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