BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore budget 2012. Emergency leaders met with the mayor to hash out who’s getting what.  

As Weijia Jiang explains, some say they need more money, and without it, taxpayers will suffer.  

Following the historically painful budget battle of last year between Baltimore and its police and fire departments, the city’s top cop calls this year’s number crunching a stark contrast.

“This has been a much, much more efficient and effective process as we moved along,” said Baltimore City Police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld.

The mayor’s proposed plan for police includes a 2 percent pay increase to offset furlough costs, and money to fill 300 vacant and anticipated job openings.

“We’re hiring, we need applicants,” said Bealefeld. “We’re looking for good quality recruits throughout the region.”

While the police department seems relatively satisfied, the city’s fire union has harsh words for the mayor, calling her budget plan lacking in “reality, substance and value for taxpayers.”

“The budget document that was given out includes the word ‘improved’ throughout. We don’t understand how they’re going to improve public safety with the exact same things they’re doing now,” said Bob Sledgeski, IAFF Local 734 President. 

Despite a $2.5 million increase in their budget, firefighters say they need more money to raise response times currently 5 percent below the national standard, and to stop rotating company closures.

But the mayor stands firm that her priority is public safety, pointing to a reduction in the number of closures.

“I have faith and they have faith that we are going to get to better times, to dwindle down,” said Rawlings-Blake. “It started at six rotating closures, we’re down to three, so I’m encouraged.”

The mayor says there will be no police or fire layoffs, but whether there will be cuts in the budgets will depend on how much state funding the city receives.

Comments (36)
  1. Wheres common sense when you need it says:

    I don’t know where to start. $2.5 million increase in the budget might just cover the cost of the rising fuel costs for the department, let alone the rising cost of matainence and cost of equipment. And as for the 5% below the national standard in response time, who will cover the cost of the live or lives lost? How much money does the city give out for example in clean needles for drug addicts? How much money is given out to the free loaders in the city who give nothing back as a contributing community member? When are we as a people going to start funding the things that benefit EVERYONE and stop funding the things that benefit the very few! With the response time that far below the national standard, I wonder how much money each and every home/property owners insurance has or will increase? Everyone in the city should ask that question and then call the mayor and ask for the difference in cash. Since she thinks its a good idea, let her pay for it!

  2. Simeon Owens says:

    Oddly enough there were only 10 deaths from fires within Baltimore City for all of 2010. That’s a 23% decrease from the prior year. I know it might sound cruel, to break things into straight numbers. However government will never be able to protect us 100% of the time and at some point we have to realise that we can not increase taxes until government services are perfect 🙂

    1. Steve Dorsey says:

      Don’t know whewre you got your information, but that is absolutely incorrect. I was there when a fire killed a family of four in Feb., and a family of six in Dec. of 2010. There were several more throughout the year, those were just the fire I was on with fatalities. I believe the total was in the 30’s. Check your source. Already several fatalities this year.

  3. Sheila says:

    Police and Fire are a very important part to quality of life in Baltimore. There is alao Public Health. There is Sanitation and the Water & Wastewater Departments which affect everyone in the City and Counties everyday. The Water & Wastewater Departments budget is funded by water and wastewater charges and not from the General Fund. I’ll bet they found a way to siphon some of that money although all funds generated by Water and Wastewater are supposed to be re-invested into those Departments as designated by the City Charter.


    The Mayor needs more money to run her METH LAB…..

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