Norfolk city manager wants to reduce number of police officers in city’s budget
- Written by WTKR Staff
- Category: Local News
- Published: 29 March 2023
Facing a large number of vacancies, Norfolk city manager Chip Filer is proposing reducing the number of officers budgeted in the city.
Filer presented his 2024 fiscal budget to the city council Tuesday evening.
Currently, the city budgets for about 770 police officers, but only has about 580 in the department.
Filer's proposal calls for budgeting for 652 officers and then reinvesting the money saved on other public safety needs like technology and officer pay.
"I'm just going to take it as a given that we're not going to get to 770 [officers] in fiscal year 24, which I think is a reasonable expectation. Then, with that difference in funds we can reallocate it strategically to other issues in the public safety realm," Filer told reporters in a budget briefing preview Tuesday morning.
His budget proposal calls for giving all police officers at least a 5 percent raise with some receiving 7.5 percent.
He's hoping by the end of the fiscal year in June 2024 the city will be close to having 652 officers.
"We think that that is achievable. I'm not going to lie it's aggressive, but really the process now is to pre-budget some of that public safety money rather than waiting at the end of the year and then trying to figure out how to spend those vacancy savings," Filer said.
Filer's budget proposal also does not raise taxes but does project assessed home values to increase by about 7 percent, so a homeowner could still owe more in taxes.
The budget is anticipating about $49 million more in revenues compared with this current budget year.
It provides about $10 million more to the school division in local dollars, as well as additional money for code enforcement and libraries.
"The proposed budget does address a number of things that we believe will move the city forward," he said.