City council, police chief discuss proposed DHPD budget

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — The City Council and Police Chief Lee Gavin began discussions for the Police Department’s proposed 2016-17 budget.

During the budget hearing, Gavin presented the budget increase and decreases to the council.

The 2016-17 general budget is projected to be $42,638,644 a decrease from the 2015-16 $42,712,167 budget.

For the Police Department, the 2016-17 budget of $13.3 million is a $65,000 increase over the 2015-16 budget.

A $6,000 overall increase in salary is requested due to the removal of a patrol officer position and addition of a detective bureau sergeant.

Since a detective retirement and removal of two juvenile officers in 2002, the bureau has been down to four employees working on 50 cases each, Capt. Michael Petri said.

“Another detective is needed due to an increased workload of crime reports and investigations,” he said. “We also have to handle child support, sex offender list, domestic violence and requirements of the prosecutor’s office.”

The department has 100 total employees including lieutenants, servants, patrol officers, dispatchers and captains with a $5.9 million total salary.

The overtime budget will decrease from $1.05 million to $1 million which pays for the traffic safety program which generates revenue.

A $10,000 increase comes for clothing in order to pay for new officer uniforms and equipment. There is an expected 10 to 15 new police hires in 2016-17.

A reduction of personnel attending college will result in a decrease from $20,000 to $15,000, and the cost of fuel will see a decrease of $65,000 due to lower fuel prices.

One of the biggest increases comes in the repair and maintenance section from $170,000 to $250,000, reflecting the possible purchases of new equipment and vehicles.

Under capital outlay will see a $32,000 increase for the purchase of five Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles. The purchase of 20 new computer mounts for older patrol vehicles will total $14,000.

Additional 150 mobile radios and portable preps for dispatch will cost $3,820 each.

Expenditures in other sections remained the same, including materials and supplies at $55,000, ammunition at $25,000 and telephones at $8,000.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)