Iowa likely to reduce workforce of DPS

Published 9:15 am Thursday, October 15, 2009

Iowa Public Safety Commissioner Eugene Meyer on Tuesday alerted employees to budget-cutting measures that could mean large-scale layoffs or furloughs to reduce spending.

The Iowa State Patrol is one division of the Department of Public Safety.

Meyer’s Department of Public Safety has to come up with $8.9 million in savings for the current fiscal year budget to comply with Gov. Chet Culver’s 10 percent across-the-board cut ordered last week.

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“The reality is, an $8.9 million cut from our budget will mean a reduction in our workforce,” Meyer said in an e-mail to DPS employees. “There is absolutely no way to meet the budget reduction required without a reduction in our workforce. That reduction would be as high as 15 percent of our staff.”

With a workforce of nearly 1,000 employees, Meyer said one possible cost-cutting measure would be to lay off about 100 law enforcement officers and civilians and then require a department-wide furlough of up to 13 unpaid days. Without furloughs, the workforce reduction would like mean pink slips for 169 DPS employees, he said.

“This will not be an easy task,” said Meyer, who noted that no final decision will be made until Oct. 28 and any plans must be approved by the state Department of Management.