La Plata City Council votes 3-1 to cut police force
The La Plata City Council voted 3-to-1 Tuesday evening to cut funding for the police department.
The move means La Plata's two part-time police officers will be out of a job.
The two full-time officers will remain.
More than half a dozen residents spoke out against the proposal at the special meeting, but despite that, the council passed the revised city budget that eliminates $29,000 for the city's two part-time police officers.
The move to get rid of those officers was the idea of Alderman Bill Adams.
He called it a "budget matter," saying the money could be better spent elsewhere.
"We still have two full-time policemen,â?? said Adams. â??We made it a lot of years on less than that."
One of the residents against the proposal had this to say.
â??I think if you cut the police department, the criminals will know when the policemen aren't here, and they will be here."
The decision made by the La Plata City Council Tuesday night will be reviewed in five months to see how things are going without the city's two part-time police officers.
La Plata Police Chief Jason Bunch told KTVO the decision will mean La Plata will have about 45 fewer hours of police coverage each week.
Alderman Trent Perry was the only one who voted against eliminating the two police positions.
"I've always supported law enforcement,â?? said Perry. â??We need them, and just for that purpose; they're the first ones there one a car wreck, first ones to respond to a fire call."
The city council still has to decide when the two part-time officersâ?? jobs will come to an end.
During the meeting, La Plata Mayor Charles Thompson said he sees no reason to cut the officers because he believes there is enough money in the budget for them.
However, Thompson doesn't vote except in the event of a tie.
At least one resident told the aldermen after the meeting that they didn't listen to citizens during the meeting, but they will hear them loud and clear when the next election rolls around.