Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A newly trained police officer has fallen prey to the city budget ax.
Officer Andrew R. Johnson III, hired by the city in July 2012, was informed this week that he’ll be laid off as of April 26 because his position is not funded in the 2013 city budget.
Lockport Police Department hired two recruits last summer, Johnson and Daniel D. Barrancotta, and enrolled them in the 18-week Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy. The men were hired to take the places of two veteran police officers who were tentatively set to retire by the end of 2012.
Only one of the officers, Shawn Kilroy, ended up doing so. The other officer changed his mind, according to Mayor Michael Tucker.
The 2013 police budget includes pay lines for 49 officers. Since January, the department has been paying 50 officers.
Johnson, the least senior officer or “last one in” according to city employment records, remained employed the past few months while LPD waited on another officer’s pending one-year military deployment.
According to Tucker, that deployment was called off last week, making Johnson’s layoff unavoidable.
“He’s not budgeted. There’s no vehicle to pay him,” Tucker said.
Johnson has the right to fill the next officer opening in LPD any time within the next four years, Tucker added.