City Council Votes for More Cops - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

City Council Votes for More Cops

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The numbers were being crunched throughout the afternoon as councilors tried to find ways to pay for priorities like public safety.

"We're losing police quicker than we're putting them back on the street," said councilor Jeannie Cue.

To help remedy that, the council has worked to add a second academy to the initial budget which had just one.

"The people said they wanted to feel safer, adding more police officers, that's what we tried to do," said councilor Jack Henderson.

But at the council meeting Thursday night...

"I'd ask you to be very thoughtful on how you deliberate on this budget," said mayor Bartlett.

The mayor urged caution on funding a second academy due to concerns of how to pay for the officers down the road.

"I'd hate to see us get into a position where a lot of people have to get laid off again," he said.

As for more money for councilors; nothing in the budget for that, but from councilor Henderson hope that there will soon be something on the ballot.

"All I'm asking the council to do is vote to send it to the people," he said.

A ballot question asking voters if the salary for a councilor should be bumped from 18K to $24,000. The first time the position would have received a raise in a decade.

"We spend millions of your tax dollars every day, and we get paid less than the janitors that clean the building, come on now, something's wrong with that picture," he said.

As for city employee pay raises, the council voted to allot for a 1% pay raise, in contrast to the initial budget from the mayor which had no raises for city employees.

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