CHICAGO (CBS) — 30 Harvey police officers and firefighters got their final paychecks on Friday after losing their jobs to layoffs.
The people of Harvey are feeling the effects of that city’s budget squeeze.
CBS 2’s Chelsea Irving reports there is talk that more layoffs could be on the way.
The people of Harvey have already been worried about their city’s financial crisis.
Now they’re worried about their own safety.
Takeyah Boykins works in Harvey and said leaving her job just got scarier.
“There’s always a police car that comes by and makes sure the ladies get out safely,” said Boykins. “So the fact that it might no longer be happening, I don’t feel good about it at all.”
The layoffs this week of 18 firefighters and 13 police officers came after a court ordered pension payment Harvey can’t afford to make.
The attorney for the police and firefighter unions said in the worst case of municipal management he’s ever seen, the city hasn’t been funding those pensions properly or at all in the past 10 years.
“No one knows effectively what Harvey really needs. They have not been transparent in their budgeting,” said Laurence Msall of the Civic Federation. “There are questions and allegations of funds being misused.”
Msall added that bankruptcy wouldn’t help the situation.
But Harvey City Council hinted that anything could happen.
“This is just me speaking, but I don’t see us catching up with a pension crisis,” said Alderman Keith Price.
That isn’t sitting well with people who live in Harvey.
“Our mayor needs to do something. And I mean right now. He needs to get it done,” said Harvey resident Stephanie Hikes.
In Springfield this week, new legislation was proposed that would consolidate municipal fire and police pension funds.
As well as create some oversight for those investments.