September 25, 2008

A budget crunch in Palm Bay could mean city residents who forget to secure car doors or close garages will get only a case number and nothing in terms of a visit by patrol officers if something is stolen.

The possible policy revision is part of a wider cost-cutting look at the Palm Bay Police Department’s $20 million annual budget, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reported.

“We’re looking very seriously at the types of calls we would go to,” Palm Bay Police Chief Bill Berger said. “Still, about 85 to 90 percent of the people who’ve had their cars broken into left the car doors open. But, obviously, if it’s an actual break-in, we’ll respond.”

The potential move is seen as an unusual step.

Other surrounding agencies — such as Melbourne Police Department — continue to respond to similar vehicle break-in calls.

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