Eugene Police Officer Sole City Employee Called Up So Far
Byline: CITY BEAT/EUGENE By Joe Mosley The Register-Guard
For the time being, anyway, Eugene police officer Brad Dodds is Lt. Col. Brad Dodds, U.S.M.C.
The three-year veteran of the police department's downtown patrol has temporarily traded in his mountain bike for military transportation. Dodds, a Marine Corps Reserve officer, was called up for active duty in November as the United States began its ramp-up for war in Iraq.
"Obviously, we don't know exactly where he's stationed," police spokeswoman Pam Olshanski says. "But he is with the Marine Corps overseas right now."
Checks into the police department and throughout city government in response to an inquiry by City Councilor Nancy Nathanson turned up Dodds as the lone city employee who has been called up to active duty in the armed forces since war preparations began late last year.
He is one of nine military reservists serving in the police department, and one of 16 in any of the city's departments to have taken military leave - primarily for training - in the past 21 months.
Nathanson's inquiry was prompted by a memo from the National League of Cities, indicating that two-thirds of all municipal police departments nationwide have had their numbers reduced by military reserve call-ups.
In response to a survey by the league, officials in one-third of all larger cities in the organization expected the wartime call-ups to negatively affect local services.
Federal dollars limited
And then there's the money thing.
With war costs looming - just last week, President Bush sent a bill to Congress that would authorize a $75 billion "down payment" on the U.S.-led Iraqi invasion - city and county governments are being told to expect slim pickings from the federal pork barrel.
Even during local officials' "United Front" lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., early this month, the message from Oregon's congressional delegation was to hope for the best but expect somewhat less.
"Congressional members and staff pledged to try to achieve as many successful funding outcomes for local projects as possible," says a memo to city councilors from Jason Heuser, Eugene's intergovernmental relations manager. …