This story was previously reported on Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Jennifer Pennington goes to Edwin Warner park a lot, at least four or five days a week.

So you can imagine her frustration learning the parks department is being told to cut its budget. That's not all.

Citywide Metro department heads were sent a memo telling them to cut from every department, from libraries and public works to emergency services.

The sheriffs office was told to cut $636,300. The fire department was told to cut $586,300.

Police were told to cut $1,993,000, which many fear will mean personnel cuts.

"Lower emergency services means a higher death rate. It doesn't get any simpler than that," Pennington said.

"We're worried about deteriorating service, extended wait times for calls for service, burning out man power. It's a serious issue," said fraternal order of police president James Smallwood.

Metro councilman Steve Glover said he and the council were led to believe the budget cuts were already baked into the budget and that there wouldn't have to be even more cuts, especially for first responders.

"If you dial 911, you have a heart attack or someone breaks into your house, I'm pretty sure you want someone to respond," Glover said.

Mayor David Briley disagreed, saying the council was made well aware of the upcoming cuts.

He also said no police officers will lose their jobs as a result of the cuts.

"I've met with the police chief and the fire chief and they tell me they can meet those savings goals with out any affect on public safety and that's whats most important to us," Briley said.

Police officials said while the rest of the city is on a hiring freeze, they are still aggressively recruiting and hiring new officers.

As for how they will cut the $1.9 million from the budget, they said no decisions have been made.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Carley Gordon joined the News4 team as a reporter in 2009. Carley currently covers the crime beat around Middle Tennessee.

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