SAN BERNARDINO ( — The bankrupt city of San Bernardino is considering a plan to reduce police and fire protection in order to cut $18 million from its budget.

At least 100 employees from the San Bernardino police and fire departments could lose their jobs if the controversial plan is approved Tuesday night.

“Those departments are 75 percent of the budget,” said Councilman Rikke Van Johnson. “To get where we need to be, you have to go in there and make some dollar adjustments.”

Last week, the police and fire departments made their budget proposals to the city council.

A police proposal involved cutting a lot of “non-sworn positions.”

“So that they won’t cut any of the guys that are on the streets,” said Johnson.

The San Bernardino City Professional Firefighters said they’re willing to sacrifice the jobs of two higher ranking officials who are not part of the union.

“Basically, they said ‘We don’t need a battalion chief,’” said Johnson, who believes the chiefs are needed.

Resident Candase Winborn said she worries about the impact of the cuts.

“With all the crime, it’s very scary …it’s dangerous out here. We need cops, we need firefighters. Look at the world,” she said.

Nine other San Bernardino departments will make their own proposals to the city council on Tuesday.


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