Detroit police, fire face cuts, but $11 million grant could keep firefighters on job

Detroit Fire Department could save 100 firefighters with $11 million grant

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

DETROIT - In a city with a crime problem and an image problem public safety is paramount.

However, under the current budget plan, Detroit police officers and firefighters will see a 10 percent wage cut across the board.

That's not all.

The Detroit Police Department will face 353 layoffs. According to Mayor Dave Bing's office, those layoffs will not include uniformed personnel. Officers tell Local 4 that number would mean every civilian employee at the department would go. That includes positions such as clerical, detention officers and purchasing specialists.

Grant could save 100 Detroit firefighters

The news is a little better for the Detroit Fire Department. Budget cuts under the current plan would mean the loss of 100 firefighters. However, a grant application for $11 million is expected to be enough to keep those 100 firefighters on the job. The grant would pay for salary and benefits for the next two years without any contribution needed from the city.

The hope is that in two years the city of Detroit will have enough money to keep the firefighters employed.

The reality is everyone at Detroit City Hall knew this day filled with layoffs was coming.

The struggle for Detroit will be maintaining core services.

"We have to do this," said Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh. "We've been saying all along. This is why we fought the mayor these previous two budgets to cut more. Because we knew this time was coming."

Detroit City Council saw Bing's budget proposal for the first time on Monday. The process is expected to take several weeks for City Council members to wade through the cuts and see exactly where the financial bottom line is.

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