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Budget Problems Could Shrink San Francisco’s Police Force

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San Francisco Police, generic (AP Graphic)

(AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Shrinking budgets and a special retirement program under review could translate into much leaner times for the San Francisco Police Department in the coming years, as upwards of 500 officers could be out come the summer of 2014.

The Deferred Retirement Option Program allows officers who are 50 years old or older with 25 years of service to enter into an agreement to work for three more years, instead of retiring.

Police Officer Association President Gary Delagnes said the officer is rewarded with regular pension payments, money that is put aside in an account that he or she will receive in a lump sum when they officially retire.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is set to take a look at the program in April and Delagnes said if it’s scrapped, there will be a mass exodus of officers opting for DROP before it expires this June.

“We have nearly 500 officers right now with more than 25 years in the business,” Delagnes said.

Which means that even if a majority of those enroll in DROP, three years from now, they’ll all be retiring.

“In a normal economy, if we’re able to get three or four academy classes a year, we would be able to backfill with these officers that are going to be leaving DROP over the next two or three years,” said Delagnes. “But obviously, there’s no money in the budget to hire new cops.”

This past week, it was learned that upwards of 100 officers might enter into early retirement or be laid off because of budget problems.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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