An additional one percent cut in the Glendale Police and Fire Department budgets, which would eliminate all Police Department community resource and youth programs, is on the table for consideration at a February 3, 2009 morning City Council budget meeting, according to a volunteer who works with one of the youth programs.
A recent five percent cut eliminated funds for middle school resource officers at Wilson, Roosevelt, and Toll. The additional one percent would also eliminate youth resource officers at each of the Glendale school district high schools.
The volunteer, who works with the STAR program (Students Training as Role Models), says the program keeps students out of gangs and out of trouble. A boxing program for boys ages 7-14, Red Ribbon week activities, and school gang prevention activities, are also threatened by the next round of budget cuts. Officers at schools provide mediation, counseling, and oversee general safety of the kids and the staff.
Code violation investigations, neighborhood watch, vacation checks, business and home crime prevention inspections, and other community activities are all staffed by Community Resource Officers.
Parents, homeowners, and business owners should all take note — these services are now threatened as the city tries to trim its budget.