Monroe Police Department faces budget deficit

MONROE, La. (AP) - The Monroe Police Department is facing a possible $1.3 million deficit because of an increase in payments to the state's police pension fund.

Mayor Jamie Mayo tells The News-Star that layoffs are not a priority and studies are under way to determine how best to close the gap - perhaps through cutting capital equipment and vehicles.

The department employs 234 people. The increased payments are needed to cover an unfunded liability in the retirement system, which the state does not cover. Officials say the weak economy has hit income-producing investments.

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