Kent Police has lost its fight to halt government funding cuts for community support officers (PCSOs).
Kent Police Authority praised the work of community support officers
The force had budgeted for an extra 474 PCSOs by April 2008 but will now only be able to deploy 273 after a lower settlement was announced in November.
Kent Police Authority (KPA) said it had failed to get minister Tony McNulty to reverse the cuts during a meeting last week.
KPA chairwoman Ann Barnes said: "I'm extremely disappointed for taxpayers."
She added: "The authority obviously feels let down by the outcome.
"The Policing Minister did listen to our case and seemed very sympathetic. But unfortunately due to financial difficulties the Home Office is unable to provide funds for extra posts.
"It's not as many as we originally hoped for but let's not underestimate their contribution to neighbourhoods across the county."
The Home Office said it was committed to neighbourhood policing.