Schipske Asks Chief of Police to Publicly Report How Much Additional Funds Needed for Police Department – Says “constituents complaining of being told by Police ‘not enough resources’”
Long Beach, CA -- November 30, 2012 – Vice Chair of the City’s Public Safety Committee, Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, today submitted an agenda item which asks the Chief of Police to publicly “report on the impact of the current budget (FY 2013) on response times of the department and to identify what additional funding is needed so that residents are assured that the police have appropriate resources.”
The agenda item comes as a result of Councilwoman Schipske learning during a recent council meeting that the Police Department needs an additional $1.5 million just to cover its overtime costs for this budget year “and an increase in the number of residential crimes in the 5th District coupled with numerous complaints from 5th District residents that they are being told by police that the police don’t have enough resources,” explains Schipske.
“Just recently, the City Council transferred monies which were designated for shot identification technology for use by the Police Department for overtime. When I asked the Chief what additional monies were needed to meet overtime needs of the Department, she was told in Council by the Chief that the Department needs $1.5 million,” says Schipske pointing out that FY 2013 Budget proposals for the Police Department were submitted to the Council by the City Manager and the Mayor. “At no time was the Council told by either party that current budget levels would be insufficient to maintain an adequate police presence in the City or at a level that officers in the field would need to inform residents that they lack sufficient resources.”
Schipske also recently asked the Fire Department to report on the impact of the budget on its responses times after hearing reports from firefighters how difficult it is to respond to calls for services with less staff and less equipment.
“Neither of these situations is acceptable. The City Council needs to hear in a public session what additional funds are needed now to keep this city safe.”
Schipske indicates that funding may be available from the increases in both property and sales tax revenue the city is experiencing due to an improving economy. “The recent court ruling that the County of Los Angeles owes the city money should also be considered a source for public safety. Additionally, as the city sells off properties that were once owned by Redevelopment, we need to designate the revenue from the sales for public safety.”