How does Utica's public safety size compare to other similar-sized cities?

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - It's an unsavory irony that cities like Utica find themselves dealing with at budget time - cutting services, but raising taxes.

Taxpayers are forced to pay more, for fewer services and diminished public safety protection.

How does the city of Utica compare to similar sized cities with regard to public safety size?

Utica's population, according to the 2010 Census, was 62,235. The city has 133 firefighters, eight of which are currently paid by a federal grant. The city has 180 police officers, but 21 are out on disability or military obligations. Twenty of those are civilian.

The city of Schenectady at 66,135 is roughly 4,000 people larger than Utica, but has smaller police and fire departments, with 118 firefighters and 143 police officers.

Troy, near Albany, is smaller than Utica with 50,129 people. They have 117 firefighters.

Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri has proposed an 18.19% tax increase and 38 job cuts, the vast majority to the police and fire departments. The drastic steps were necessary in order for the mayor to produce a structurally sound, balanced budget.

Wednesday night, the city council will share their ideas for balancing the budget.

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