Police Department Credits Operating Effectiveness for Minimal Budget Increase
On July 26, the Police and Fire Commission held a special meeting to hear the 2019 proposed Marshfield Police Department budget.
This year’s proposed budget is an increase of 3.3% over the 2018 budget. 87% of the annual budget for the Marshfield Police Department is comprised of salary and benefits. With a 4.4% increase in staffing cost, the department decreased operating expenses to cover the majority of the staffing increases.
The employee straight time pay increased by 4.4%. This increase resulted from both the union contract negotiations and the revised compensation plan through the city. Comp time pay-outs increased by roughly 39% due to officers now being allowed to cash out comp time quarterly in order to maintain appropriate staffing levels. Staffing has been challenging in 2018 due to some off-duty injuries and four new hires. With this, overtime will most likely be over budget in 2018, and with steady increases in the need for overtime, the budget for 2019 was increased by nearly 20%.
Operating Supplies saw an increase due to the proposal of anew body camera system. This will replace the current body cameras and provide each officer with a new electronic control device as part of an officer safety program while offering cloud-based storage. Currently officers share the electronic control devices, also known as Tasers. Also included within this line item is updating the 9 squad dash cameras, 11 ballistic shields for each squad, and 20 new rifles with noise suppression attachments for added officer safety.
Professional Services line item shows an increase due to the department’s annual wellness and onsite therapy, a service provided by Physical Therapy Associates. The goal of this onsite occupational therapy is to reduce health insurance premiums and workers compensation insurance due to an overall healthier department. This was budgeted in 2018 but was removed later in the budget process.
The department was also able to contract with a local fitness facility which provides employees with a significantly reduced membership of $156 per person. To date, 18 employees have signed up, committing to work out minimally 8 times per month. This coupled with the mandated job function assessment occurring to all sworn employees after May of 2019.
Capital was a decrease by 68% due to the previous budgeted amount changing from new radios to a potential 5-year lease agreement for the radio, tower and equipment upgrades.
The 2019 proposed budget is $5,539,523. The budget was approved by the Police and Fire Commission and will move to the City of Marshfield Common Council for consideration.