The City of Kempner is cutting local police staff in half. City leaders say they can no longer afford to pay all four of their full-time officers.
The department will soon be down to two full-time cops.
“I”m not happy with it. I don’t think you’ll find too many residents that will be happy,” says Kempner homeowner Ken Mahoney.
Mahoney has lived in Kempner for six years. He’s scared for his safety now that there will be 50 percent less officers patrolling the streets.
“It’s a good way for druggies to not get caught. To be out in the wild in a small community,” Mahoney said.
Yet, Kempner Mayor Carolyn Crane says City Council members made a wise decision – saving taxpayer dollars by cutting positions they could no longer afford.
“When it comes to being fiscally responsible with citizens’ tax dollars, we have to do that,” Crane said.
City’s leaders hired the two-extra officers in October, with hopes they would be gaining extra tax money from the city’s growth. But this hasn’t happened.
“So as a result, we simply can not afford to pay the officers. It’s not just salaries, it’s also an increase in our taxes. It’s an increase in expenses to keep city vehicles running, and so forth,” Crane said.
The officers left on staff won’t be on duty 24/7. The city will rely on the Lampasas County Sheriff’s Department to fill in the gaps.