A proposed 2014 budget would cut seven jobs in four departments in the Town of Beaufort.
The cuts would eliminate three patrol positions in the Beaufort Police department, one position in the finance department, one in the water department and three in public works.
The loss of positions would take the police department from 19 employees to 16.
“We always want to work within the budget of our town and we strive to do that, but we also have to be concerned with response times to calls of service,” Steve Lewis, Chief of Police, said.
Lewis said the cuts would create extra work to make up for the loss of patrol. It would also rid the detective division of one of its two detectives.
“We'll still be out there solving cases and having someone do it, but there are a lot of adjustments we'd have to make.”
Charlie Burgess, Beaufort Town Manager, disagrees. He said when deciding where to cut positions, the police department was one of the most obvious places.
“It doesn’t change anything as far as our street presence, so to speak,” Burgess said.
If the proposed budget is approved, the seven cut positions would save between $150,000 to $200,000.
A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Monday, June 10th.