The number of people calling for help in Chesterfield County keeps going up, but the money isn't growing quite as fast.
Now, as supervisors tackle the county budget, public safety officials are asking for more to keep their staffing and services at ideal levels.
If the budget goes through as is, police are getting money to hire more officers and firefighters should see some new gear. But like everyone else, the two organizations have been cutting back and getting by through the recession.
That means dozens of public safety workers up for career development raises aren't getting them. The raises act as incentives for these folks to get some extra training. Here's why you might care about them getting some of that extra training.
Calls to 911 for help are up, and if you need help, you probably want the person responding to have
"It's a fact of life," said Senter, who referred to today's economy and cutbacks as the new normal. "And what it boils down to is what does the community expect? For public safety? For schools and for other county services? At some point, some choices are going to have to be made. Either we are going to have to just continue on the way we are and accept increases in call volume, longer wait times, in our case for EMS units."
Or, he says, with each extra dollar spent in public safety, there's a chance of more responders with more training and more skills. It also provides incentives to Chesterfield public safety employees to work for those skills and to stay in the County instead of seeking work elsewhere that does pay.
The budget will get officially voted on in April. County Supervisors have regularly stated that education and public safety are top priorities.
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