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Sunnyside police budget at $9.9 million for 2011-12

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Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder (foreground) and Deputy Police Chief Phil Schenck share the police department's proposed biennial budget with the city council.

Last night Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder and Deputy Police Chief Phil Schenck explained the department's proposed $9.9 million two-year budget for 2011-12. The duo also shared with the Sunnyside City Council how 2010 monies were utilized.

This year the budget was adjusted to more than $5.2 million, which includes the salaries of 29 sworn officers, five hospital police officers, 16 support personnel, 10 reserve officers and 20 Sunnyside Police Explorers.

The police department is projected to spend $5.03 million in 2011 and $4.96 million in 2012.

Radder said more than $325,000 in overtime costs are in the proposed 2011-12 budget.

The chief detailed where overtime was needed this year, with the bulk of the monies being spent on patrol officers ($193,000).

Radder said some overtime is reimbursed by outside grants and/or agencies. The Washington State Patrol Troopers Association (WAPTA) reimbursed the city with a grant of more than $37,000 and the city received more than $31,000 for providing security at events and functions.

"Our true exposure is call outs," said the chief, noting call outs accounted for $38,000 in overtime costs to the department. That funding is not reimbursed.

Training issues also cost the department a large sum in overtime. Officers work overtime when others are attending training sessions. Training cost the police department more than $84,000 this year, but Radder said his department is looking at ways those costs can be minimized.

Councilman Don Vlieger asked if the department can schedule training for overlap days. He explained those are days when there aren't any officers off duty and the officers not on the streets can attend training.

Radder explained his department doesn't have overlap days, but the department is sometimes able to host in-house training. He said the training can be opened up to other agencies for the purpose of sharing a trainer.

Schenck detailed for the city council how the county-wide integrated public safety system, a computer program used to track police activity and criminal backgrounds, will save the city monies in the next biennium. The system costs are shared, whereas the old Spillman system cost the city $54,000 annually.

The police department in 2011 will not have to pay for maintenance costs for the new system because of a warranty. In 2012, Schenck said, the cost is projected to be about $25,000.

Radder next told the council there have been many changes in staffing because the council approved recommendations made by the public safety committee. The police department is close to meeting its staffing goals, he said, adding there are no additional staffing requests in the 2011-12 budget.

Radder also shared the benefit of the K-9 acquired by the police department this year. The public safety commission made the recommendation and the Sunnyside City Council approved the acquisition.

The program, said the chief, has proven itself beneficial.

Radder provided a "wish list" of items his department would like to purchase. Several of the items, such as SWAT helmets, vests and gas masks could be funded from the drug investigations fund, he said.

The addition of another dog to the Sunnyside Police Department's K-9 program was not in what was referred to as a decision package.

Councilwoman Theresa Hancock said she believes it should be and the decision to purchase equipment should be made once another K-9 is in service.

Radder said he specifically left the K-9 out of the package because he is in talks with the Yakima County Sheriff's Office in regard to securing High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area monies to offset the cost of a new dog.

It was decided Radder would introduce the K-9 to the package and the budget could be amended at a later date to include equipment purchases.

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