Providence orders layoffs in police department


Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said Wednesday that he has ordered layoffs in the police department.

The mayor sought $6 million in savings from the police department as the city deals with a financial crisis.

“Union leadership and representatives from the Taveras administration both approached the bargaining process in good faith but have regrettably not been able to achieve these savings without layoffs,” the city said in a news release.

The city said beginning next week, Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare will begin the process of eliminating 60 to 80 positions in the police department.

“I have instructed Police Department leadership to make necessary adjustments to patrols and assignments to ensure that the number of officers patrolling the streets of Providence remains as consistent as possible under these circumstances,” Pare said in the news release. “Keeping Providence safe for residents and visitors remains a top priority for the administration.”

Police union President Taft Manzotti did not immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press seeking comment. He said before the mayor’s announcement that union negotiators proposed cost-cutting measures to avoid layoffs, but that the city rejected them.

Taveras said the city faces a $110 million deficit.  His budget proposal calls for $64 million in spending cuts, including a 10 percent cut to police and fire budgets.

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