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No New Police in Adopted Budget

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The City Council this week adopted a $671-million citywide spending plan for 1997-98, including a $141-million operating budget that pays for city services.

But Councilman Bob Zemel voted against the new budget, saying he wanted money included to hire more police officers.

“The city is not cleaned up,” Zemel said. “I want more police presence, and we’re not getting it in this budget. . . . We have a long, long way to go to make Anaheim a safer place.”

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In recent years, one of the council’s top priorities has been to hire more police officers.

Since 1990-91, the city has added 49 police officers, including five this fiscal year, which brings the department’s sworn force to 389.

City officials say the additions, combined with the department’s community policing efforts, have reduced crimes, such as thefts and homicides, by nearly 36% during that period.

Councilman Lou Lopez sought to increase the $132,000 earmarked for local nonprofit community groups and the Anaheim Museum. The groups received about $170,000 in this year’s budget.

Although the additional funding was not included in the final budget, City Manager James D. Ruth said he would review the proposal and report back to the council at its meeting July 8.

The new budget, which goes into effect July 1, also includes 2,049 full-time employees, an increase of 10.

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The city also created a $500,000 Neighborhood Improvement Fund.

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