Newburgh official: Layoffs were needed to balance 2020 budget

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The 2020 budget for the city of Newburgh causes 26 police and firemen to lose their jobs.

The city’s manager says the layoffs needed to happen in order to balance the budget.

"We were in a very difficult financial situation for the last several years. The revenues and expenses were not necessarily accurately budgeted for and as a result of that we were faced with this very difficult decision," says city manager of Newburgh, Joseph Donat.

News 12 is told two police officers resigned before the new year. Terry Ahlers, who served as acting fire chief for the past four years, retired on Jan. 2.

Although the budget led to 13 people being laid off in each department, city officials are expecting two more fire department positions to surface before the end of January.

Police say as the number of first responders continues to decrease, their workload is increasing.

"There's gonna be a couple people upset in the community which I understand and we want to provide a police service to this community that's second to none, but it's going to be very difficult for us to do that at this point," says PBA President Ricardo Rivera.

He also mentioned that in the past 10 years, he’s witnessed about 40 officers transfer out for higher paying jobs.

"Guys are not excited to come to work anymore, it's been a complete change in atmosphere," shared Rivera.

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