OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) Last minute negotiations broke down late Tuesday afternoon between Oakland city officials and the police officers union, paving the way for the layoff of 80 police officers.
The two sides met late into the night Monday and throughout most of the day on Tuesday trying to come up with some type of compromise in an effort to avoid the layoffs.
The union had agreed to concessions in employee pensions but was demanding a three-year moratorium on layoffs for employees hired before March 21, 2009.
Union president Dom Arotzarena said the union had already agreed to contract concessions last year, including deferring raises.
“This is a very dark day for the history of the Oakland Police Department,” said Arotzarena.
City Council President Jane Brunner said agreeing to the three-year moratorium would be irresponsible given that the city could see deficits continue to grow during the length of the contract.
The council approved the officer layoffs in June to help bridge a $31 million deficit.
Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts began re-engineering the department this past weekend so that it can focus on its core functions, such as responding to 911 calls.
Police have released a list of crimes, including grand theft, burglary, vehicle collision, identity theft and vandalism that officers would not respond to in person now that the layoffs are official. Victims will now have to report the crimes online.