Proposed budget cuts for Port Richey Police

Posted at 11:15 PM, May 26, 2016

"I was not brought here to help dismantle the police department nor will I be party to anything that puts my officers or the citizens at risk," said Port Richey Police Chief Rob Lovering.

Chief Lovering says the city council is considering cutting funding to his department so deep, he's says it could cost lives.

"It should not take somebody dying for people to realize safety is paramount," said Lovering.

The proposed cuts now have the cities top cop stepping down in October. He says the department already runs on a shoe string budget.

"If we're at full strength we have one sergeant and two officers working at any given time," said Lovering.

At Tuesday's city council meeting, members spit balled a plan to hire a public safety director to oversee both the city's fire and police departments. Both Chief Lovering and the cities fire chief stand firm against the proposal. Port Richey Fire Chief Timothy Fussell says he worries about lives of his crew if the cuts are made.

"This might be a city of 2700 people who live here but at any given time theres 35,000 to 65,000 cars driving through here, nobody knows who's in those cars," said Lovering.

Lovering says he's already cut nearly 100,000 dollars over the last year by reducing overtime pay and eliminating two part time positions. He says any further reductions from the budget would be unsafe for everyone, something he just wont stand for.

"I never want to be the one who has to look into one of my officer's families face and know that something happened to them and me say I knew that was going to happen," said Lovering. "I couldn't live with my self."

Chief Lovering will remain in his position until October.