10/15 Budget Hearing: Police

2010 City Civil Budget

Notes from the Fort Wayne City Council Budget Hearing on October 15, 2009.

This post covers notes from the Police department budget discussion. The budget for the Fort Wayne Police Department may be downloaded here.

Police Chief Rusty York is opening. The department is down in retirements.  There are 451 sworn officers.  At some point they will need

John Shoaff is  asking how much it would add to the budget to hire 10 officers.  $450,000.

Karen Goldner – drop program – allows officers to declare three years out from retirement.  It allows them to bank the time, they retire three years early which kicks in their benefit.  There will be a small academy class next June.  They will be coming  back next year for additional funding.

FWPD is never fully budgeted personnel wise.

Karen continues – wondering where things are at with the take-home policy.  Rusty says it is still in affect.  The revenue from it comes back into the General Fund.  Valerie Ahr says it is put back into the department, but they have to re-allocate it.

Any analysis of costs vs benefits?  Rusty – People were optimistic in 1996 when it began, that it would save officers.  We pay everything over 7 minutes when an officer responds if they’re off duty.  There is benefits to citizens and the City to have the cars on the road.  Response times are different with the vehicles out there.  Moving expenses will be taken care of by CEDIT bond.  There is a $118,000 reduction for the rent of the Creighton building.

Tom Smith – Cars are somewhat less on the streets?  Rusty – not necessarily.  Tom – before a lot of cops were taking the cars home, now they’re not.  Let’s assume the hours are less.  When you look at the crime stats, they are down about 9%.  Less cars and the crime rate is going down?  It appears it is going down.  Rusty – to try  to pinpoint why crime is going down is complicated.

What kind of consulting services did we buy this year, for $17,000 that we’re not getting next year?  Rusty – it’s for Merit testing.

Tom – Seminar fees are down by $16,200.  Rusty – revnue from ticket violations will be down, so they are cutting training.  Travel – two or three weeks ago – two or three officers took a trip to Germany?  What was the trip about, why?  Air fare was paid by officers, hotel was paid out of Sister Cities fund.  Benefits (Rusty) to training technique is beneficial.  It was minimal cost, but the exposure is beneficial.  Tom – seems to be the wrong time to be doing this.  I’d much rather see you spending that money to bring people into our Public Safety Academy.  I don’t think we should be sending officers  off to Europe.

Mitch Harper – 539A $100K to PSA, $10 to parks for Skatepark security.  Last year’s transfer was to the self-insurance fund for last year’s claims and settlements.  No plan for defibrillator replacement next year.  71 are on the street right now.

Rusty – GPS funds spent last year. Possibly map will be completed in November. It’s disturbing to us as well. When we entered into the contract, we felt comfortable the County GIS would be able to accomplish the transition. For a number of reasons, here we are two years later and we don’t have it going.

There will not be additional funds from the police budget to the Public Safety Academy. Mitch is wondering how or if we should be planning for the deficit the facility faces. Valerie Ahr, Deputy Controller, is responding it will be a discussion when the appropriation is brought to the table.

Rusty is talking about the continued activities at the PSA.

Karen Goldner – wnodering if maintenance payments are being made on the GPS software – no. Only when it is implemented. Is wanting to clarify Germany trips. Air fare was paid out of their own pockets. The only expense that came out of the police budget was meals for Deputy Chief Davis. Everything else was paid for out of non-city funds.

Mitch – they were salarie personnel? Rusty yes, they were compensated as usual – no overtime for anything.

Liz Brown – $.5 million increase for the 1.5% contract raise. Medical expenses include physical cost (half), psychological testing ($300) is paid for by department. We pay for on-duty injuries. Injuries could be twisted ankles, or different things. A lot of times the Courts will call to see if there is restitution needed – the FWPD will apply to the Court for medical reimbursement.

$1,700 contractual clothing allowance which they get in cash in two installments. Officer’s bonus – Contractual – SWAT $650; Bomb, HRT, Fatal, CIT, Homicide have bonuses involved, $650 down to 250 annually. Health insurance is down because Controller was able to go to Pension board to offset expense.

Verizon Air Cards – 35 officers are over their two years, they will be getting new cars, so will need new cards.

Liability – went up? Different methodology involved in determining fees.

Police claims went up.

Electricity is down, water is up a bit. Anticipation of 6 months in Creighton and 6 in Renaissance Square. Rental is included in that.

Mitch – how does the PSA work inside the worker’s compensation system? When an officer is injured is it reported into the wc system? How, if it’s a permanent disability is it paid? Rusty – Through the State pension fund. If it’s more than a year, it’s transferred into the pension fund. It’s 50 per cent of a patrolman’s salary.

Liz – Master Lease – replacing about 35 cars with new, going forward after that 70 annually which will be a mix.

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