Police no longer staff council meetings

The police officers at Tuesday’s City Council meeting did not take their chairs up front (the sitting is a recent development; officers stood at the back of council chambers for years), replaced by private security guards.

The officers remained in the lobby that night to ensure the security guards did OK. They did, and at Wednesday’s budget hearing the cops were not at City Hall.

The city has long pulled two officers off the beat to stand guard at council meetings. But the administration expects this year to lay off dozens of officers in its $23 million financial crisis, and officials said the city could no longer afford to pull them off the street.

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