Pomona, California, has the third highest crime rate in the state. It's number of homeless and mentally ill increases daily. So the city, I was told today by a member of its police force, is doing the only logical thing it could come up with to balance its budget considering its alarming demographics -- cutting benefits and work hours and salaries of its police officers.
"We won't be getting holiday pay anymore," the officer said. And then added that unpaid days off are already in place and salary and staff reductions are being discussed.
According to this officer, the city has for budget reasons placed its police officers in the same category as its tree trimmers.
During an armed robbery do you wish for the guys with the guns or the guys with the pruning shears?
Who would you rather have responding to your 911 call -- officers with sirens blaring or someone from an arboretum with a pocket protector?
Please, oh please, know that I hold no grudge against tree trimmers unless, of course, they show up when the warring gangs of Pomona have me surrounded because they thought I was someone they knew who may have in the past worn the wrong colors to work.