It won’t be pretty: Mesa slashing budget

Gary Nelson and Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 27, 2008 09:18 AM

RE: City of Mesa Budget & the Police Department

“The new policy is to prioritize emergencies and crimes in progress, with non-emergency calls waiting until the next shift arrives or maybe even until the next day for an officer to respond.

Sgt. Fabian Cota, president of the Mesa Police Association, said a lack of support personnel eventually will hurt the department, making it less efficient.

He said there are times when a squad lacks the leadership of a sergeant and that “lead officers” with less experience assume a supervisory role. Other times, a sergeant from another district has been temporarily reassigned to handle a major case.

“As far as the fiscal goals, I can’t really speak to that,” Cota said, “but sometimes, we’re stretched real thin.”

Officers feel bad when calls stack up and go unanswered for hours because it is contrary to their previous training.

“I hate providing inferior police services,” Cota said.”

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