Oberlin Chief says $82,000 budget cut unfair to police - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Oberlin Chief says $82,000 budget cut unfair to police

OBERLIN (KPLC) -

An $82,000 budget cut is at the center of the latest dispute between the Oberlin police chief, mayor and council. The mayor says he's doing his job.The police chief says there's a personal vendetta

Oberlin Police Chief Grady Haynes says his department cannot withstand the  budget cut decided on by the mayor and city council

Haynes says they may have to lose officers and claims the mayor and council have a vendetta against the police department.

"We're short handed anyway and that's going to only going to put a crunch on us even more. They've tried to take cars off the road before.  We don't have a secretary.  We don't buy anything but uniforms and do car maintenance and gas.  We have nothing as a police department basically.  We work on our own cars trying to keep them on the road to help the town save money," said Haynes..

Yet Mayor Joseph "Moochie" Manuel complains police have quit writing tickets and adds that speeders are flying by on the highway.

Chief Haynes says citizens would rather see officers on patrol to prevent property crimes like burglaries, and that's not what the mayor and council want.

"They want us to sit on the highway and make revenue for the town of Oberlin, which only a percent of that revenue is allowed to be spent for general funds in the first place.  It's illegal to use all ticket revenue toward the town," said Haynes.

Manuel says the 22% cut to the police department budget is what had to be done to keep the town afloat.

The mayor declined to appear on camera, but says other departments are making sacrifices as well, including five employees who work part time instead of full time just to save money.

Manuel calls the chief's words a smear campaign against him and the city council and vows to not let it affect him.

Haynes still has charges pending from the Ethics Board dealing with LACE ticket writing and his regular salary. The charges claim he was being paid for both LACE hours, and working as chief,

Copyright 2017 KPLC All rights reserved

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