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Cash-Strapped Vallejo Police Struggle With Cuts

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Vallejo Police Department Shrinks & Neighborhood Watch Catches On

A man walks out of the Vallejo Police department in Vallejo, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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VALLEJO (KCBS) – Police officials in the city of Vallejo have been forced to do more with a lot less, something that is never more evident than this weekend, as the department deals with two separate homicide investigations.

Vallejo Police Lieutenant Ken Weaver manages the detective division and said they used to be a vibrant police force with 150 officers.

But because of the city filing for bankruptcy in 2008, the force is now down to 90 officers, with layoffs, retirements and officers moving to other jurisdictions.

“We’re maxed out right now,” Weaver said.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

This weekend, homicide detectives worked on a pair of shootings: one Friday morning near Tennessee Street and another Saturday morning on Dublin Drive.

“With two homicides back-to-back, chasing down witnesses and leads puts a strain on my resources,” Weaver said. “The guys do a fantastic job, but we just don’t have enough people at the moment.”

Weaver said it would be great if there was enough money available to hire thirty more officers and support staff, but the reality is that they’re constantly shifting positions just to keep basic services up and running.

“We had to suspend our street team and roll them into being detectives,” he said. “Just to increase the manpower to keep up with the workload.”

The city has announced plans on how it wants to emerge from bankruptcy, but until more solid information comes out, Weaver said the force will continue to work hard, never cut corners and solve crimes as quickly as possible.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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