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Public Budget Hearing being held to address cuts to police and fire department positions

Milwaukee is currently projecting a loss of 84 police officers and 75 firefighters under next years budget.

But, they say they are actively working to reduce both of those numbers. Residents are invited to the city municipal building to go over the situation during a public budget hearing.

Estimates show that the loss could reduce the fire department to meeting mandated response times 90% of the time. It's currently 98% in the city.

The city's budget director says there are a few causes for the shortfall such as pension figures for the year came in higher than expected and the city is receiving less money from state programs than it has in the past.

The city's police department alone now costs $60 million more than the city collects in taxes.

Mayor Tom Barrett says he's pushing for a half cent city sales tax to better fund public safety.

A local sales tax would need approval by the state just to go up for a vote. If that happened, it would still need to be passed by Milwaukee residents. 

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