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The impoverished south Jersey city, rated as one of the most dangerous in America, plans to fire 180 police, or 43 percent of the force; 67 firefighters, and 150 other workers to balance its budget.

Mayor Dana Redd was due to address the layoffs at a news conference scheduled for noon.

Laid-off workers were scheduled to leave their jobs on Tuesday but final numbers were not immediately available because negotiations between city officials and unions were still going on, said Robert Corrales, a spokesman for Redd.

Officials have been seeking concessions on areas such as health benefits from unions in the hope of averting some layoffs.

“Things are so fluid,” Corrales said.

The city’s $138.8 million budget for the fiscal year ending June 30 has been hard hit, like those of many other U.S. cities, by a sharp fall in revenues during the national economic downturn, at the same time as an increased demand for services from the increasing number of unemployed people.

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