Via golocalworcester.com, budget cuts have significantly reduced police staffing, resulting in fewer stops and arrests.
Police are pulling over 9,000 fewer drivers for speeding in a five-year period. In 2007, Worcester Police issued 12,058 speeding tickets and last year only wrote tickets to 3,351 drivers.
Currently, we have 17 officers assigned to the Worcester Police Department Traffic Division, compared to 30 officers in 2007.
Those are significant declines, and it’s hard to imagine that this law enforcement reduction doesn’t have some impact on public safety.
We all know that both local tax revenues and state aid are significantly down across the Commonwealth, so it shouldn’t be surprising to see that when you reduce budgets and staff, less activity happens.
And it’s nice that they can get in a quote from MADD, particularly about how this is “counter productive to MADD’s hard work”. (I didn’t know taxpayers were obligated to support MADD because they work hard).
The fact is that the cuts in public services are much broader than just police, but law enforcement is both a popular thing to spend tax dollars on, as well as measurable in it’s impact to some degree.
It would be fascinating to see other stats of impacts as well.
- What is the change in class size for school kids? What other school services are significantly affected?
- How about other emergency services response times? Firefighters and EMS?
You can’t slash state budgets and be surprised when these things happen.