Last week the department heads or their stand-ins were been busy presenting their budgets as presented in the Mayor’s budget, there is a public hearing before the council tomorrow night, the amendments for Board of Estimates are due Wednesday at noon and then they will vote at Board of Estimates a week from today. So, if you have something to say about it, tomorrow night is the time!
Randy Gaber for the Police Department says their emphasis is technology and facilities. In car video is 10 years old and basically falling apart, there are mics and cameras that are not working and they need an entire replacement. They also need to replace their car radios. All the squad and portable radios will be replaced. Mid-town district station is important for response times and are pleased that is included in the executive budget. What is included in the budget really reflects their priorities.
More on cameras
Mike Verveer asks about the surveillance cameras in the district stations. Is there some amount in your budget that is existing that you can work with on that.
Gaber says that the operations team looks at the cameras. We get a lot of walk-in clients at the stations and they will want some record of what happens around the stations. Those were on the list, he isn’t sure how they prioritized those items since it was done with Carl Gloede and the operations teams. Sue Williams says that they were hoping to get cameras because of vandalism that was happening in the parking lots. This has to go back to the team to decide what they prioritize next. Terri Genin says that in terms of funds, they are using funding they have to replace the interview systems, they originally got those system with grants but they are replacing the systems with their funds. The funding they have that is the priority. If there is additional funds it is for the lobby areas and then the next priority is outside. It is unlikely there is funding for that.
Verveer asks if that is for this and next year. Yes, in terms of current funds. Verveer asks the total amount. Genin says they used grant funding and asset forfeitures and the total funding was about $15,000 for the interview rooms and there is $12,000 for the lobbies.
Joe Clausius asks about mid-town station on the Southwest side and Central District. He asks about the annexation of Blooming Grove and how that will impact the stations. Gaber says that he believes that can be absorbed by East and maybe some by North. They feel it can be absorbed by the East District. He says that a Northeast District Station would be there in the future plans to absorb the growth, some time in the next 3 – 7 years.
Shiva Bidar-Sielaff asks about the acquisition of $1.2M, is there a plan for the total costs in the future? Genin says that the whole cost was in their submission.
Sue Ellingson asks where the station is going to be? Gaber says in the Hilldale area, but they are looking in a 2 – 3 square mile area.
Weier asks about the North District since the area is so large. Gaber patiently explains that he just answered that question and it is in their plan for a new station in 3 – 7 years. Weier asks about cameras on the Northside. Gaber says that is part of the process they are looking at, you should have the operations team come here and talk about that.
David Ahrens was asks about the summary of the radio system, its says $11.3M in traffic engineering, what is the meaning of that? Dave Schmeidicke, the Finanace Director says the radio system is $11.3M for the whole system over several years. It is a project that is a cooperative project with traffic engineering and the fire department. It is about responding to changing technology and FCC requirements and digital technology. Ahrens asks if it is in the CIP for traffic engineering. Schmiedicke says yes if you sum it up, it is a 3 – 4 year project. Most of the infrastucture is in traffic engineering on page 122, project 3. Mayor says that Ald. Skidmore has spent a lot of time on this and he’d be happy to fill you in, in addition to staff.
Mark Clear asks about the changes to meet certifications instead of the value. Gaber says the older portion of the training center needs some things like replacement of the roof, the mechanicals and updating the electric, it will get us Leed Certification. Others of it is just for the LEEDS certification within the 5 year time period.
Property and Evidence
Verveer asks about the $3.5M in 2015, have there been discussion about adding this to some of the other facilities like the fire training facility or vehicle services (motor equipment). Does it have to be a separate facility or could it be co-located. Gaber says they have been part of those discussions and it is based on space availability to meet all the needs. Location is also important, it needs to be central since all the stations bring evidence there and you wouldn’t want it on the far east side and have to have far west officers driving over there. Also everything in that building eventually has to go to court. They have looked at First Street since they have some of their property there. Schmiedicke says they continue to look at it, they are doing a master plan for Nakoosa Trail and the location issue is one. Mayor says that our situation is no different than the private sector, we have to balance the high cost of land down town vs cheaper land when we leave the square an the efficiency of using ground level space for storage vs. the operational cost, which includes transportation and labor in going back and forth to those locations. In thinking about the opening of the library, a location like the library would be marvelous.
Larry Palm asks about the Nakoosa Trail site, when we acquired it we were assured this was a centrally located site. We had charts about distances and other things, one of the only reasons he thought Nakoosa made sense was because vehicles could easily get there. Mayor says for vehicles yes, for storage of records it is not so good. Palm says he was talking about drive time and he is disappointed because that was the reason used and if you are now saying it won’t work, I have a tough time. Mayor says that he disagrees. For a bus fleet, for motor vehicles and repair, it is a decent site. We started with the notion of it being more central, but we can move those services further out. He doesn’t believe that we said that what we said about vehicle service (fleet or buses) was the same justification for storage or records.
Denise DeMarb says several of them were in the office for a presentation about the budget and how the police move around the city. At that time you said if an officer brings a person downtown, is the evidence also brought downtown at the same time. Gaber says yes and no. If there is evidence during the arrest, they can property tag it there or at their district stations and then personnel goes and picks it up and brings it to centralized storage. All of it is kept in the City-County building. DeMarb asks how long they have to keep it. Mayor says she obviously doesn’t watch CSI or Cold Cases. Gaber says there are different statutes of limitations but they keep it until the case is adjudicated. There is a six month period of time after that. For sexual assaults and murder we keep that forever. DeMarb asks if it is kept in the City-County Building forever? Gaber says the vast majority is, but they keep some at First Street and satellite. Bikes and vehicles are kept elsewhere. Verveer points out that vehicles are at an impound facility. Gaber says that the vehicles work out well where they are being kept but ideally we would have one central area to have staff to look over that evidence.
Mayor points out the Chief Wray is in Washington giving testimony on behalf of the City regarding proposed immigration reform legislation.
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