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Roselle lays off two police officers
By Elisabeth Mistretta | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 1/5/2010 12:00 AM

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Two Roselle police officers have lost their jobs, after police union and village officials failed to agree on cost-cutting measures.

Roselle is facing a $1 million shortfall in its 2010 operating budget that primarily funds village payroll. To offset that, the village negotiated concessions with fire and public works unions late last month that included pay cuts.

The village also implemented in the fall salary reductions, layoffs and other cost-cutting measures for its nonunion employees.

The deadline to save the police jobs was extended twice, mostly recently until Dec. 31, after Village President Gayle Smolinski said village leaders were willing hold a special meeting during the holidays if the union and Roselle could reach an agreement.

Ultimately, however, Smolinski said it came down to one sticking point.

"They wanted us to agree to no layoffs during the term of their contracts, which ends Dec. 31 2012," she said. "But because the economy has been so unstable, we could only guarantee no layoffs through Dec. 31, 2010."

As a result of the layoffs, the DARE program, or Drug Abuse Resistance Education, was also eliminated in Roselle area schools.

In a letter to residents, Roselle Police Chief James Kruger said the layoffs will require the full-time DARE officer to take patrol duty.

"It is paramount that we focus our full attention on public safety and providing adequate police protection throughout the community," he wrote.