At Monday night's 2017 budget hearing in
Former Council President
Police: Chief Kahley acknowledged the financial constraints that have been placed on his department but focused on highlighting some of its achievements over the last year.
"This year, as every year, we tried to keep the budget in line with previous years to make sure that the spending stays down, but we still continue to provide the services we need to to the community," Kahley said.
Even with the financial limitations, overall crime levels in
However, crime statistics for the first seven months of 2016 show a 13 percent spike in violent and serious crimes, Kahley said, though total crime was down 1.74 percent.
"I think there's some very significant numbers that show the impact that our neighborhood enforcement units have on the areas that they're in," Kahley said.
After some manpower issues, the department was able to return neighborhood units to their posts in October, allowing officers to be visible and proactive in their communities, Kahley said.
Citing crime statistics from 2011 -- when neighborhood units were first put in place -- to 2015, Kahley said crime levels are down across all neighborhoods in the city, including a 62 percent drop in the northeast and a 44 percent drop in the west end.
The department is two officers short of what it is budgeted for, and officials are building a succession plan for officers who are due to retire in the next three years, Kahley said. After accepting an application, it takes 10 months to put a new officer on the streets, Kahley said.
Fire: Chief Michaels said the
"We continue to face the challenges of the complex operation of the department in response to the needs of our citizens," Michaels said. "We do this while maintaining fiscal responsibility."
Michaels requested an overall budget increase around
The department will have 56 positions in 2017, the same as in 2016, Michaels said. Fifty-two of those firefighters will be paid more than
The request for overtime could be brought down by hiring new firefighters, Michaels said.
"The positions are filled," Michaels said. "It's just right now we're filling them with the overtime."
The chief asked for
Michaels also requested
Last week, the council heard from the departments of public works, economic and community development and business administration, while also taking budget requests from elected and appointed officials.
"We're in a similar situation that we found ourselves in last year, where there is a deep desire to decrease the taxes, but at the same time there is a proposal on the table from the administration to raise the sewer fees very significantly," Helfrich said.
Bracey said her administration is "definitely on track" for a balanced budget, which will be presented at Tuesday night's council meeting "without any fanfare."
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