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Gary Looking to Cut Police, Fire Salaries

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The City of Gary, Indiana is facing serious budgets problems. But last night, citizens asked the City Council not to take it out on public safety personnel.

Gary has one of the highest crime rates in the nation. The city’s police force is often outmanned, and its firefighters must put up with inadequate equipment and crumbling firehouses. Cutting back on pay and personnel to save money seems like a drastic step. But that’s what might happen if the city can’t plug a money gap.

City Councilwoman Carolyn Rogers hopes the city’s mayor, who is proposing a 20 percent pay reduction for all city employees, can think of another plan.

ROGERS: I just really honestly can’t image a family being able to survive off of that. To one day to discover that your pay is going to be cut 20 percent is devastating.

The cuts could begin in less than three weeks. The shortfall is caused in part because of a state-imposed cap on property taxes, and $6 million being kept from the city by the owner of a casino boat in town.

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