Mayor Art Ward fessed up.
If the police union refuses to make contract concessions to save money for taxpayers, he plans to knock the pay and rank of a trio of higher-ranking positions.
Ward said he would turn an existing lieutenant into a sergeant and take an existing sergeant and return him to regular police officer status, which would put him back on the street.
He would also bust a detective back to police officer and return him to patrol as well.
The result, the mayor said, would save enough money from the department while bolstering the officers who are out in the front ranks.
"That's not compromising public safety," Ward said.
The changes would effect the wages of the three people targeted and generally reduce overtime within the department.
The change would also limit the opportunity for advancement for rank-and-file officers.
It's a surprising twist that several insiders said may cause the police, who have firmly resisted concessions, to reconsider.
Though refusing to back down would preserve their scheduled pay hike, it would apparently limit their ability to collect overtime or snag a higher rank. Those considerations may wind up costing officers more than simply making the concessions the mayor asked them to do, the insiders said.
Ward said he'd have a breakdown with more specifics at tonight's budget meeting.
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