Cuts have consequences.
Case in point: Newark has seen a recent crime spike, coinciding with cuts made to its police force, thanks to the ugly state of the city’s finances.
Under star mayor Cory Booker, the city has done better than many would have guessed in getting crime numbers down, but there’s only so much that can be accomplished with effort, when the resources aren’t there to keep people safe.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, Booker has been complaining about a “frustrating” rumour tearing through the city about robberies of Newark buses, which he claims is a total fabrication.
Presuming more cities have to make deep cuts in 2011, the Newark experience will likely play out elsewhere.
There’s another interesting subplot that hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention: The police union had the choice to avoid layoffs in exchange for a paycut, but the senior members who control the union wouldn’t bite, much to the anger of rookies (all officers since 2006, actually) who got laid off.
Not only do public sector unions anger taxpayers who see a very difficult bargaining hand, they also screw over younger members.