The Madison Police Department is sounding off about the mayor's request for budget cuts.
A few weeks ago, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz announced that city departments need to make a three percent cut. If they don't, he said Madison homeowners could see a hefty increase in property taxes.
We spoke with police chief Noble Wray Thursday. He says if the budget cuts are made, the department would need to lay–off 15 officers, 15 civilian positions, and eliminate the crossing guard program for next year.
With that loss, combined with the city expanding into the town of Madison, the chief says the situation could get even worse. "Any cut would create problems. We are at tremendous growth here, and that's the point here, we don't need to be looking backwards," says Chief Wray.
Mayor Dave Cieslewicz says with the new state budget, actual cuts for city departments would be more like two–percent. He also says if those budget cuts need to be made, he would consider making deeper cuts in other departments to keep officer staff at full capacity.