In Fiscal Year 2018, the Police Department will not be adding any new jobs or launching any new programs.
Derry Police Chief Edward Garone presented his 44th budget during a Town Council budget meeting on April 18.
Before discussing this year’s budget, Garone took a moment to look back on his first budget presentation in Veteran’s Hall a number of years ago. At one point during the session, a citizen got up in the balcony and made a motion to cut the $200,000 spending plan in half, he said.
“I’d been here for eight months and I wasn’t sure I made the right choice,” Garone said.
For this year’s budget, Garone said the department is limited when it comes to hiring and beginning new programs as in past years.
“This budget does not include any new positions or any new programs,” Garone said.” We are unable to embark upon any such programs or positions based on the fiscal constraints that we find ourselves in here in Derry.”
The department has 57 sworn officers and will not be adding to the total. Despite having nine new officers working there are still three vacancies, which is big number for a department of Derry’s size, Garone said.
This year’s budget personnel accounts have increased by $315,279, which is basically the result of a two- year collective bargaining settlement, he said.
In addition, he said there’s been “a precipitous increase in the retirement contribution that nets out to $143,844 .”
He added that there are also step and longevity increases in the budget but they are fairly small.
A large percentage of the department’s costs are dedicated to personnel.
As for spending programs, the department finished a portable radio upgrade last year, and has completed HVAC upgrades and replaced all mobile computers this year. As a consequence, there aren’t any other programs planned for Fiscal Year 2018.
There will be an approximately $10,500 projected increase for gasoline. The projected increase was calculated by Public Works Director Michael Fowler, Garone said.
Garone said the overall expenses of department is down by $411,395 or approximately 4.3 percent.
“We have no new vehicles or capital projects, that’s the big nut there,” he said.
Looking at revenue, he said there will be declines from the bullet proof vest program since the department has replaced a number of vests.
There has also been a reduction in pistol licensing due to a change in the law that allows residents to carry a concealed weapon with some exceptions.
Garone said a number of people bought guns following the Sandy Hook shooting four years ago.
“When Sandy Hook happened, a ton of people went out and bought guns and got licenses,” he said
Also affecting revenue, the state Department of Motor Vehicles determined that police departments couldn’t collect or sell motor vehicle accident reports. All of the reports must now be sold through the state, resulting in an annual decrease in revenue of about $7,500.
The net budget for 2018 totals it $537,617, representing a 6.3 percent increase.
The vast majority of the increase has to do with cost increases in the collective bargaining agreement and the New Hampshire retirement system increase, Garone said.