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Public safety officials react to proposed Eureka 2014/2015 budget

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EUREKA- With the City of Eureka 2014/2015 budget expected to be approved by July 1st, city staff finalized the proposed budget almost two weeks ago.  Now, each city department, including police and fire, have 10 percent less funding in the updated proposed budget than the original one.

“I think many of the departments have had such major reductions over the last several years, in order to fund the public safety priority of the community as well as the city council, that it made sense in a sense that all of the departments kind of work together from a teamwork standpoint in terms of kind of sharing some of the pain in this budget," said Greg Sparks, the Eureka City Manager. 

At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, the Humboldt Bay Fire Chief and the Police Chief of the Eureka Police Department shared what changes will be made to their departments if the proposed budget is approved. Both Fire Chief Ken Woods and Police Chief Andrew Mills say cuts in personnel, training and equipment will have to be made in order to accommodate the budget.

"Obviously it's a concern for us because of the services we provide and we want to provide the highest level of service we can.  And the cuts are going to affect a number of areas.  They affect our personnel, also our training budget, also our equipment.  Those are near and dear to what we do, how we do it and how we really mitigate emergencies out there and it's a concern for us going forward," said Fire Chief Woods.

"It's a difficult process for everybody.  There's not one department that's not impacted by this and we're a team player, and we'll figure out a way to give the best service possible to our citizens, while yet being fiscally responsible," said Police Chief Mills.

Council could approve the proposed budget at a special meeting this Tuesday.