Police union walks out on Finch's state of the city

BRIDGEPORT - Bridgeport police walked out of Mayor Bill Finch?s state of the city address Monday in protest of recent city layoffs, while the mayor urged for intense spending cutbacks.

Finch says the city must take drastic measures to cut back as its financial situation worsens. ?The guiding philosophy from here on in has to be do more with less,? Finch told the audience.

The mayor says he will have to take bold and swift actions that may be unpopular, but necessary. It was after such statements that the Bridgeport Police Union staged a silent protest and left the speech. Bridgeport recently cut 31 city jobs to save $2 million.

?We are willing to sit down with him and see what other things we can come up with than laying off police officers,? Bridgeport Police Union President Frank Cuccaro says. ?That affects public safety and that is a primary concern.?

Finch says the cuts were necessary because of the eroding economy and the $20 million deficit the city faces. Cuccaro says he is meeting with the mayor's office next Tuesday to discuss the layoffs.

He also urged those who have not paid their taxes to make good with the city and do so.

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