City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

June 7, 2011
Mayor Johnson: Cop jobs should be saved, but no plan in place

Mayor Kevin Johnson wants the city to save police jobs. But he doesn't know how to make that happen.

Hours before the City Council was scheduled to embark on intense budget negotiations, the mayor told reporters this morning that his "focus is that we do not reduce the sworn officers" on the police department. The city manager's office has proposed laying off 80 officers, a plan that will be debated tonight as the council addresses a citywide $39 million deficit.

"I think the primary role of government is to make sure our streets are safe and secure," Johnson said. "It's fundamental to how we operate."

The council is also scheduled to deliberate on proposed cuts to the fire and parks departments.

The mayor said behind the scenes work was being done to help save the cop jobs, but he wouldn't provide details on what has been discussed. He said both the police union and city management would need to contribute to any plan to save police jobs.

"How we get there and if we can get there, I don't have that answer," the mayor said, adding he was "holding out hope there is a way to create that environment where we can keep the sworn officers that we have."

I've received many calls and emails on both sides of this argument, with some saying public safety should be protected and others calling for deep cuts to the city workforce.

One woman, Albyena Newberry, called me on Monday to argue for the police department.

Newberry, a single mother of six living in South Natomas, said the windows of her car were shot out on Memorial Day weekend. She called the police, but was told no officer would respond due to staffing restrictions.

"We have no proactive police community anymore," she said. "There was nobody who could help me. We need to reinforce the police with as much manpower as we can."

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at


Does the Kings' poor performance of late impact the arena work?

Ryan Lillis on Twitter

Follow "Ryan_Lillis" on Twitter

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Sacramento City Resources

City Web Sites

How to contact city officials