Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Baker's police chief and mayor feud over budget

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BAKER - The mayor and police chief of Baker are up in arms over the city's reduced budget.

Chief Mike Knaps wants to hire new officers to fill vacant positions, but the mayor won't allow it. 

Right now the police department is down one patrol officer and three communication officers, putting a bind on the force.

"Anytime you reduce the number of patrol officers, you reduce the ability to do proactive patrol," said Chief Mike Knaps.

Mayor Harold Rideau says every department, including the police, should be willing to help with the budget shortfall.

"You just have to make an adjustment and there are some things you have to do. We had some good years, but now we're in some trouble," said Mayor Harold Rideau.

It costs about $40,000 per additional officer, plus benefits. The issue comes up again at the city council's next meeting in two weeks.



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