Council approves two dispatchers and crime analyst

Terry RogersGovernment, Headlines, Milford Headline Story, Police & Fire

Milford Police Department will hire two new dispatchers and a crime analyst after funding was moved from two other departments to cover the cost.

At a recent meeting, Milford City Council accepted the recommendation of the Finance Committee to hire two new dispatchers and a crime analyst for the Milford Police Department. The cost of the three new positions will be covered by eliminating two positions that were added to the budget but never filled.

“When this was presented at a previous council meeting, Director [Lou] Vitola [Finance Director] pointed out that without other funding this could necessitate, in the future, a 5.3% tax increase. At that point, council took a pause and said, “Well, that’s not a favorable approach” and they deferred this to the Finance Committee,” Councilman Jason James, who chairs the Finance Committee said. “We were able to work with the City Manager and the Finance Director, asking them to find other sources of funding if they were available.”

Councilman James explained that in addition to grant funding that may be available, the committee requested that Vitola and city manager Mark Whitfield, try to see where costs could be cut to provide Chief Cecilia Ashe with the personnel she needed.

“The director did come back, and the city manager saying, “well, there is some law enforcement grant funding,” Councilman James said. “But in order to get the funding for a crime analyst and to have the two other positions, it would be necessary to look at positions that had been budgeted for but had not been filled and to permanently eliminate those positions that had not been filled. One of those positions was an assistant city clerk from the city clerk’s office and the other was a horticulturist. Those positions would be permanently eliminated, unless sometime in the future some other revenue sources come about when we revisit those positions.”

The Finance Committee recommended that $54,690 be transferred from Parks and Recreation, the amount budgeted for a horticulturist and $23,586 from the city clerk’s budget which had been budgeted for a deputy city clerk. This would partially cover the cost of the two new dispatchers and crime analyst with plans to seek grant funding to cover additional costs.

Council approved the request with a vote of seven to zero as Councilwoman Katrina Wilson was not present at the meeting. After approving the three new positions for the police department, Mayor Archie Campbell announced that he had appointed Councilmen Michael Boyle, Jason James, Andy Fulton and Brian Baer to serve on a Charter Review Committee. That committee will go through the city charter over the next few months and make recommendations for any changes that are necessary.


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