WATCH LIVE

Central Maine Police Department may be Forced to Downsize 

Like many towns across Maine, Waterville is facing thousand of dollars in budget cuts. To find ways to save, city officials are looking at the police force. Two positions are on the chopping block – a move the chief says is alarming. Currently the Elm city has 31 officers, that’s about 2 for every one-thousand people which is comparable to the national average. The school department wants to cut funding for the resource officer while city manager Mike Roy has proposed a patrol officer be eliminated. Mike Roy has said, “My feeling is that we added a position in 2007 and that was the most recent position added in the city and felt that was the most logical one to reduce.” Police chief Joe Massey told TV5 he’s proud of his force and, “I think we’ve provided a level of service that I think is appropriate because of their commitment to the job, but at some point particularly if we lost staffing that’s going to be extremely challenging. I’m concerned we’re going to go from proactive to reactive.” Waterville has to fill more than a half million dollar gap. In addition to the police reductions, Waterville taxpayers are facing a property tax hike hunder Roy’s plan. City councilors are expected to make budget cutting decisions by mid-May.