published Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Chattanooga City Council faces choice on take-home cars


by Cliff Hightower
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The City Council will have to decide what its priority will be when Mayor Ron Littlefield’s budget comes out: take-home cars or salary increases for police.

During a meeting this afternoon, the mayor told council members that he would include $1.2 million in next year’s budget to strengthen the police department’s career ladder program. He told them they must decide whether to keep the money for the career ladder program or shift the money to pay for take-home cars. The cost for restoring take-home cars for all officers is $1.2 million.

Last year, city officials restarted the career ladder program after failing to fund it for about two years. Under the program, officers can earn more money for additional job-training and certification.

Council members held the meeting after the Fraternal Order of Police asked for a discussion two weeks ago about take-home cars in advance of the upcoming budget debates.

For more information, read tomorrow’s edition of the Times Free Press.

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