Petition aims to shrink Redding's police dept.

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REDDING -

Some Redding residents are endorsing a petition to trim the town's police department and save taxpayers' money.

Wolf Boehme, of a group called A Better Redding, is spearheading the campaign.

More than 150 people have signed their names so far. They say they're paying too much for a police department that's bigger than the community needs.

MORE: Read the Redding petition.

"We are a Chevrolet town with a Rolls Royce police department," one taxpayer declared.

The police department has 17 officers and is believed to cost the town about $2.4 million a year. 

The petition supports several ideas. One would cut back to two town officers on duty per shift. Another would have a single local officer per shift supported by mutual aid from a neighboring community. And another one would have state troopers police the town, which was the case before Redding organized its own force in 2002.

Critics say Redding has low crime already and that significantly larger towns don't even have their own police departments.

First Selectman Julia Pemberton says she may not fully agree with the proposals but is open to discussion.

"We'll see where this goes," she says.

The town will hold a hearing on the issue next month.

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