ANALYSIS AND OPTIONS:
The COPS Hiring Recovery Program provides money to hire officers forthe purposes cited. There is no limit on how many positions the Citycould request through CHRP. However, as with all hiring grants, careneeds to be given in deciding how many positions to request to assurethat we don’t either overextend ourselves in the future or put ourselves ina position where we’re unable to meet the obligations of the grant. In thecase of CHRP, for
position requested, the City is required toassume a financial burden of $6,619 in the second year of the grant;$10,989 in the third year of the grant; and $98,137 in the year after thegrant ends – for a total commitment of $115,745 over four years.(NOTE: These figures assume the current contracted minimum COLAs,the current benefit rate, and the current pay step intervals.)Council has the option to apply for more than one position throughCHRP. However, taking that course will obligate the City to provide aconsiderable amount of local funding over a four-year period. If theeconomy were to make major improvements during the course of thegrant, using this opportunity to hire additional positions could be anexcellent way to get early assistance in paying for police positionsneeded to respond to community growth. However, there are certainlyno guarantees that a strong enough economic recovery will occur duringthe next three years to assure that a decision to hire multiple positionsthrough CHRP will prove to be a wise one.It seems prudent at this point to use the CHRP funding opportunity to justreplace what we’ve lost. In the 2009 budget, the City eliminated onepolice officer position, reducing the Department’s commissioned strengthfrom 68 to 67 officers. While this manifested itself as no longer beingable to deploy a detective to the regional narcotics task force, the actualposition loss was an entry-level police officer position. Electing to ask forone position through CHRP would permit us to reinstate the eliminatedposition and return to 2008 service levels for at least four years while notputting us in a position where we are dependent on a big improvement ineconomic climate in order to meet our financial obligations to CHRP.The CHRP application itself is “on-line,” so it cannot be provided directlyto Council for review. However, the attachment included with the staffreport describes the City’s community policing strategy and our rationalefor requesting the one position we’re suggesting be funded. The grantapplication must be submitted by April 14, 2009. Any changes to thestaff recommendation will need to be made without delay and will not beable to be reviewed by Council, given that Council is not meeting againuntil the grant application due date.
Option 1: Move to authorize staff to apply for a COPS Hiring RecoveryProgram grant to rehire the police officer position eliminated in the2009 budget.
Implications:1. Helps maintain 2008 police service levels by restoring the PoliceDepartment’s commissioned staff strength back to 68 officers for atleast four years.
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