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Colton police agree to slash pay to avoid layoffs

February 16, 2011 | 11:49 am

Police officers in the San Bernardino County city of Colton agreed to take a 13% pay cut to avoid officer layoffs as the city struggles to close a $5-million budget shortfall.

The Colton City Council, which like many Inland Empire towns has been hit by high unemployment and declining revenue, was considering laying off a third of the city’s police officers. They city already has laid off close to 100 employees.

“During these economic times, the members of our association believed in cuts and have agreed to help our city leaders balance a budget and not impact services," the Colton Police Officers Assn. said in a statement released Wednesday.

The working-class city has one of the oldest municipal law enforcement agencies in California. Frontier lawman Virgil Earp became the town’s first marshal in 1887 after his famous stand with brother Wyatt at the gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Ariz.

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-- Phil Willon

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