The York City Police Department has lost about $250,000 in revenue this year and expects to miss that money again in 2014 if its relationship with the York County Drug Task Force is not repaired.
In a presentation to Mayor Kim Bracey and her budget team Thursday, Chief Wes Kahley said the department has left two police-officer positions vacant in an effort to offset the revenue loss.
"It's $250,000 out of the budget that we have to make up somewhere else," he said.
So, for at least a few months, the police department has been operating with 104 officers as opposed to its approved complement of 106 officers, Kahley said.
The department's proposed 2014 budget reflects a full complement of 106 officers, Kahley said.
But it does not include revenue from the drug task force - which is a reimbursement of work the city's officers do in York County on drug cases. The money comes from drug forfeitures, Kahley said.
"Our officers aren't going outside the city anymore to do work," he said. "The city this year will have to make that up."
The city's police department and the task force parted ways in January over policy changes being made by District Attorney Tom Kearney that established authority over task force officers lies with the district attorney's office.
At the time, Kahley said the new agreement would have forced him to relinquish authority over city officers who are part of the drug task force, as well as relinquish authority over drug investigations and drug arrests within York City limits.
The disagreement remains unresolved, Kahley said Thursday.
However, he said, city officials and the district attorney's office are trying to work it out.
"The chief is right. We continue to talk with one another. We continue to work with one another," Kearney said.
Kearney said he wants the city's police officers to participate in the task force "provided that they abide by the rules."
As for the dispute, Kearney said it isn't "healthy to comment on negotiations, which are continuing and ongoing."
Kahley said he's hopeful the two entities will work out their differences before or during 2014 so that the city can resume collecting the reimbursement revenue.
"In the end, the only people losing out are the citizens," he said.- Reach Erin James at email@example.com.