• Methuen City Council adds $1.2 million to police budget to avoid officer layoffs

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    METHUEN, Mass. - The Methuen City Council voted to put more than $1 million back into the police budget to temporarily avoid officer layoffs.

    The council voted to add $1.2 million back into the budget, but a handful of councilors said they believe an additional $300,000 will be needed fund the police department to the end of the fiscal year.

    The move allows 50 officers to avoid being laid off just a few weeks after they were issued layoff notices as part of budget cuts.

    >>MORE: 50 Methuen Police officers issued layoff notices as part of budget cuts

    A special meeting was held Thursday night, less than a week after Massachusetts' inspector general released a report saying the superior officers' contracts should be voided, and the city should look to the state ethics commission on how to move forward.

    >>MORE: Inspector General: Methuen Police contract is illegal & should be voided

    "We've had this conversation for months," an official said at the meeting. "We had a chance today to end it and not bring this conversation back again, but we're going to have to bring this conversation back again when the mayor, the auditor comes to us and proposes they will need additional funds. If the mayor's office is transparent and shows us that they need a little more at the end of the year, then we'll do it."

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