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At least 27 Providence cops leaving police force

October 16, 2011

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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Providence officials say 27 officers have retired or are leaving soon, many of them under an incentive program negotiated to help reduce the department's expenses and avert layoffs.

Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare says he does not know if the 27 departures will produce enough savings to avoid the job cuts, since the retirements were fewer than the city expected.

Final figures had not been calculated by Friday, the deadline to apply for the early retirement incentive program.

The Providence Journal reports ( http://bit.ly/nfMhup) the city hopes to combine retirements, a drastic cutback in overtime and other reductions to save $6 million in the police budget.

Pare says a smaller force will be sufficient to fight crime and to respond to calls, but says some services will be reduced or provided less frequently.