The York City Police Department’s budget will shrink in 2014 because of a drop in grant funding, and fewer dollars will mean fewer boots on the street, Chief Wes Kahley said Wednesday night.
The department will lose two officers through attrition, dropping the total number of badges to 104. York is authorized to have 106 officers, Kahley said at City Council budget talks. The loss will offset nearly $500,000 in funds for a 2010 Cops Hiring Program that has been used to pay salaries for several years.
Another officer is set to retire Jan. 5, bringing the force to 103, and two others are expected to retire within the next 18 months.
“I’m not interested in dropping below 104. I didn’t like dropping down to where we are,” he said.
That number is equivalent to staffing levels in 1960, he said. Studies have shown York’s need is closer to 160 or 180 patrolmen.
York Police also lost about $250,000 in funding after the department left the County Drug Task Force. The District Attorney’s office contributed money from seizures, cars and phones when the department was participating in it, Kahley said.
But he said that drug arrests have doubled in York in the last year because detectives have been able to focus solely on the area within city limits.