Syracuse's Fire Chief and Police Chief were both before the Common Council on Monday afternoon, answering questions about their departments' budgets for next year.
Both Paul Linnertz and Frank Fowler say the proposed 25 additional staffers are not new positions, they're just filling vacancies, and not ALL the vacancies.
The Fire Department is looking at 38 vacant slots, the Police Department 62, with more retirements expected this year in both departments. And, while they won't be at full strength, both departments say the extra hires will mean they can cut down on overtimeand save money that way.
Other information from the budget hearings:
Syracuse Police are looking at making it possible to file more types of reports online, freeing up police officers who now take the information in person.
Syracuse Fire will move 3 firefighters to fire prevention jobs, because of the huge increase in housing being built or renovated in or near downtown. Chief Linnertz says the inspections, will ensure that they are safe, and that the mandatory sprinkler systems will make them more fire-resistant.
Neither department thinks the less-than-full staffing will endanger city residents. 'Not as long as I'm here," was the response from Chief Fowler.