recent mobilization of National Guard and military reserve units
will leave about one-fourth of the nation’s cities less able to
provide services as they lose police, firefighters, administrators
and other employees, according to a National League of Cities poll.
poll, which was answered by 461 cities, was conducted between Feb.
24 and March 3. Almost 26 percent of the cities said they would
be less able to provide the same level of services because of activations.
Almost half of the cities, 46 percent, said they expect more employees
to be called to active duty in the future.
the employees who are leaving for active duty in the Middle East:
- 64 percent of cities (293 of 461) said police officers have been
- 21 percent of cities (97 of 461) said firefighters have been called.
- 21 percent
of cities (98 of 461) said "other" staff have been called.
- 6 percent
of cities (28 of 461) said administrative staff have been called.
- 2 percent
of cities (8 of 461) said emergency personnel have been called.
reserve and guard call-ups come on top of fiscal problems in many
states and localities as well as heightened responsibilities for
homeland security," NLC President John DeStefano Jr., mayor
of New Haven, CT, said.
said 3,029 city leaders were coming to Washington, DC, this week
to urge Congress and the administration to do a better job of partnering
with local governments on issues like helping to provide homeland
and economic security.
of Feb. 26, 168,083 reserves and guards were stationed in the Middle
East to support a possible war with Iraq. Even in those cities that
said the mobilizations would not affect their ability to provide
services, the call-ups are placing increased strains on already
thin budgets as departments increase overtime to cover absent employees,