By Kayla Harding
HYDE PARK- Chief Kim Hawkes of North Park Police Department presented the department’s 2010-2011 budget to the City Council Wednesday night.
“We didn’t offer any increases in salary last year, and at this point in time we are projecting the same thing,” Hawkes said.
According to the proposed NPPD budget, salaries and wages will remain the same as last year’s budgeted funds at $422,913. Overall salaries and wages, including overtime, weekend salaries, crossing guards and benefits are projected to be higher at $780,963, compared to last year’s number, $752,152. The number has increased $28,811 due to benefit costs.
Hawkes said the department looks at the fact that they have employment as a positive thing, and possibly awarding compensation to NPPD employees at the end of the fiscal year if the funds are available.
He said some costs have been cut such as books, subscriptions and memberships, and special public safety supplies, including ammunition. Other costs have risen including telephones and uniforms, with two new body armor vests for replacement. The department also plans to replace two Dodge Durangos with two Chevy Tahoes.
Mayor Bryan Cox encouraged the council to visit the police department to see the need in the near future for a facility other than in the basement of the fire department.
“Neither town is financially stable or in a position to do that, but they are talking about it. Whether it’s just appropriating the property for a future time,” Cox said.
The NPPD has seen a steady rise in identity theft, fraud, and computer crime, according to the budget proposal. Last year the department opened 88 new cases involving fraud of some type. Hawkes said he would like to send Sgt. John Italasano and detective Ulysses Black to fraud investigation training in Las Vegas in September, for an increase of $1,600 to the travel portion of the budget.
In other business, Brian Potts explained city emergency management policy updates. Potts said the city has been divided into nine wards or districts, so that in the event of an emergency, individuals inside these districts can report to a district overseer. The overseer will then report the council with what their district needs, in a more efficient manner than individuals or families could.
Valerie Elder, with the Child and Family Support Center, also educated the council on what the service center offers the community, and announced that April is child abuse awareness month. Elder asked Cox to sign a proclamation committing Hyde Park to continue its dedication in providing a safe environment for children and recognizing next month as child abuse awareness month.