Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said the civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd's murder could make the city council reconsider its budget considerations in terms of police and fire cuts.
The council is weighing a plan that cuts $10 million from the operational budgets as part of a larger plan to fill the city's $50 million budget hole created by decreased revenues in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cuts include laying off or leaving vacant 28 police jobs and 33 fire positions.
Ardis said the decision to cut emergency responders always been a difficult decision. And recent events aren't making it any easier.
"A situation like this really puts a lot more attention on your police force and your fire department. It's kind of like insurance, right? You pay that premium every month and hope you don't need it. But when you do need it, you want it to be there for you. It's the same way with our first responders, especially with public safety," the mayor said.
But Ardis said they'll still need to figure out a way to pay for it.
The council has not yet made a final decision on the current plan. Members will meet again next Tuesday. WCBU will carry that meeting live at 6 p.m. on 89.9 FM and WCBU.org.
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