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Belvedere hires one cop, frees funds for another amid shortfall

Belvedere is shuffling its spending priorities to free up money for a new police officer amid the departure of one cop, medical leave for another and a deliberate vacancy, which has left the city with just three active officers and forced the department to borrow from Tiburon to cover shifts.

The city has already made one move, hiring Officer Erin Harrell from the Burlingame department. She was slated to start Oct. 16, after The Ark’s press deadline, but can’t fill any immediate needs: Harrell isn’t allowed solo shifts until she completes field training sometime in February. Even then, the department will have just four officers available for shifts, prompting Police Chief Jason Wu to ask the City Council to reopen the sixth position so he can immediately recruit a fifth working cop.

At its Oct. 9 meeting, the council voted unanimously to approve the position by reallocating $138,187 in funds earmarked in this year’s budget for electric charging stations, City Hall renovations and corporation yard repainting.

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