Under Mayor Lee Brand’s proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year, the Fresno Police Department will see a 3.9 percent increase in funding, from $169,088,600 to $176,053,100. Likewise, the revenue collected by the department is projected to rise by 33.4 percent ($19.4 to $25.9 mil.), contributing to an overall 4.1 percent rise in total available funding for the 2017 fiscal year.

One of the most high-profile expenditures proposed by Brand is funding for 21 new officers. Twelve will be new recruits funded solely through the department’s budget.

These twelve will not join the force right away though. The budget projects hiring three in the 2017 fiscal year—a $255,700 expense. Jane Sumpter, the City’s Budget Manager, said that the hiring process will begin in “the latter part of the fiscal year.” The remaining officers, with a total cost of $1.3 million, will not be seen in full until the 2019 fiscal year.

However, this does not necessarily mean that Fresno will have to wait until 2019 for an expansion of the sworn force. In the City Council hearing on Monday, Chief Jerry Dyer indicated that about 20 to 30 academy cadets will graduate in July and be added to the department. This influx would bring the city to around 790 officers, according to Dyer– closer to the 824 proposed in the budget (check this out to learn more about Fresno’s struggles to recruit and retain officers).

The remaining nine positions will be new hires brought on to replace seasoned sworn officers reassigned to the Fresno Area Express (FAX) Unit. As a result, some of the costs of this expansion will be billed to FAX, while the department’s budget will be increased by $683,100. These new FAX officers will be geared specifically toward “bus operations, fare enforcement, passenger station security, bus route security, and utilizing a community-based policing model along the entire Blackstone and Kings Canyon corridors.”

Among the new expenses for the department, $5,242,300 in total, most are for non-personnel changes.

These new expenses include equipment and vehicles for the 21 new officers, an expansion of the unique Shotspotter Technology from 6 square miles of coverage currently to 9 in 2018 and the rebuilding of the Department’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal robot which is currently 15+ years old.

One new cost that will be offset by new bond debt transfer savings is for the construction of a new 10,280 square foot Southeast police station in the Fancher Creek development at Tulare and Argyle.  According to the budget report, Fresno PD expects the new station to be move-in ready by January 2019. The report highlights that this new station will be able to hold 80+ officers and will “easily accommodate future growth.”

The bond savings are planned to bring in $5,003,800 while the cost of the station is expected to total around $6,193,900. The report does not detail how the $1,190,100 difference will be funded.

In addition to rising expenditures, the level of funding coming from grants will be declining by $1,066,300 from the 2017 fiscal year.

These losses though, according to the report, will be counteracted by the overall rise in both the department’s city-allocated budget and their own revenues, resulting in a projected end-of-year total of $229,400.

Building on the surplus from 2017, this should leave Fresno PD with about $2,764,400 in the bank at the end of the 2018 fiscal year.

Contact Drew Phelps

Phone: 559-440-8321 / e-mail

This story was not subject to the approval of Granville Homes.

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