'Somebody put this out to try to raise fear'
There was nothing wrong per se with the original story
about possible police cuts. It was a classic scare-the-readers piece. I would have run with it. But it was also a classic combo send-a-message/scare-the-public/trial-balloon piece that's leaked by pols, bureaucrats or activists every time someone tries to cut a public-sector budget. Now the police budget has been declared semi-off-limits. The alarmist tactic worked. Right? The firefighters better get cracking. They're now fighting for second place on the protected-status list. The budget competition will be stiff against school teachers, health-care workers etc. ...
One of my favorite like-clockwork stories during a recessionary cycle is when someone dares to cut a public arts budget -- and then the flowery ode-to-poetry editorials come out. ... Art touches the human soul, enriching our lives with beauty unseen that
... Etc., etc. ... Howie urges immediate counter measures
against scare-the-public tactics and other antics.Update
tries to sort through the 'blue murk.' Agree with him on a lot of points (such as whether police layoffs are really off the table, thus use of "semi" above etc.). But if you just look at the broad outlines of the episode -- the cause (original budget-cut warning) and the effect (pressure to backtrack) -- you pretty much have a classic scare-the-public scenario -- and it worked. To what degree is arguable. ... I should disclose
I'm a Herald reporter, though I'm witnessing this episode from the comfy confines of my holiday home like most everyone else. I only deduce from what I read. ...