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Sheriff’s Office 2013 operations budget program request






TO:                  Chaffee County Board of Commissioners

FROM:            John Spezze, Undersheriff 

DATE:             August 29, 2012

SUBJECT:     2013 Budget Request

Last year we submitted the first budget request by this administration, for calendar year 2012.  In that request we set ourselves certain goals, some of which we have met, others that we determined were unattainable for now.  Herewith is an assessment of those efforts.

** To implement community / problem oriented policing, develop programs, and forge partnerships with the community.  While this administration has effectively promulgated its vision and philosophy of community policing throughout the agency, lacking sufficient personnel to do more than respond to calls has prevented our creating crime prevention programs such as Neighborhood Watch, Ranch Watch, and others.

** Create an interactive website, an Internet newsletter, and other tools to effectively communicate with our citizens.  We have been very successful in meeting these goals.  Our website was completely revised and allows for comments by our citizens.  It is updated frequently, and was especially helpful in informing citizens of county fire restrictions.  Several Internet newsletters were distributed, timely press releases were issued and posted on our website, articles and letters to the editor were submitted and published, public forums have been conducted, and in general we have lived up to our commitment to transparency and responsiveness to the public. 

** Develop a citizen police academy.  It remains a goal, but one not capable of realization absent additional staff.

** Form a citizen advisory council to provide us perspectives and to gauge community standards and community expectations of the sheriff’s office.  We have discussed this but it has yet to be achieved.

** Pursue accreditation of the agency.  In progress.  Commander McGuire has put in scores of hours revising our policies and we hope to be prepared for the self-assessment stage this fall.

** Promote the professional development of our employees.  The undersheriff completed the Command Staff Institute and will attend Northwestern University’s Executive Development Course in September. All deputies were offered opportunities to attend training in supervision and several did so.  One sergeant attended a two-week command-level course and the others will be offered the same as it becomes available.  Dispatchers and detentions deputies have also received training in various professional development courses.  In addition, we have pushed decision-making responsibility to appropriate levels throughout the organization.

** Evaluate technologies that will lead to greater effectiveness.  Sophisticated, proven technologies have been in general use within the broader law enforcement community for years, technologies such as automated license plate readers, in-car and on-person video recorders, mobile data terminals, and others.  However, given our limited financial resources, it was not prudent to expend energies in this area at this time.

Our request last year to re-fund the deputy position deleted in 2011 was not granted.  Had it been approved, the position would have allowed us to provide at least a modicum of crime prevention and community outreach.  While we understand the reasons for the commissioners’ decision, we regret the inability to provide the services to our public that have become common in other agencies.

With only eight full-time patrol deputies and a single detective, it is not possible for this agency to provide more than the most basic, reactive services to our citizens.  Indeed, our patrol commander and three sergeants are required to perform the duties of patrol deputies rather than devote their time to command and supervision.  We serve a population greater than Salida and Buena Vista, one that balloons exponentially in the summer with seasonal residents and recreationists, spread over hundreds of square miles, yet our patrol force is about the same as each of the two municipalities’. 

In our estimation an additional four patrol deputies and one additional detective are needed to achieve a reasonable ability to provide effective services within the unincorporated area.  With this in mind, the sheriff and I intend to propose to you and to our residents in unincorporated Chaffee County the creation of a Law Enforcement Authority.  Such an entity is authorized by state statute.  It first requires a resolution from the board of county commissioners after which it is submitted to the electorate residing in the unincorporated area in a special election; residents in the corporate municipalities of Buena Vista, Poncha Springs, and Salida are not eligible to vote and would not be adversely affected by the outcome of the special election.  If approved by voters, a small increase in their property taxes would go directly to the sheriff’s office to be used exclusively to provide law enforcement services to our citizens in the unincorporated area of Chaffee County.

We understand the need to convincingly make a case for the creation of this entity and we intend to do that in the coming months.

* * *


Line Item 11600, Overtime: The 2012 budget for overtime was set at $24000.00. Due to the current staffing levels when anything requires immediate attention and on-duty personnel is not adequate it requires overtime to accomplish a task. While overtime costs were controlled and watched closely during the year, numerous high profile events occurred during the first seven months. These events included:

** A labor intensive search for a party wanted for Parole Violation on an original charge of murder. The suspect eventually set himself on fire and in the process burnt down a barn and nearly burnt a 2 million dollar home. In the process all available personnel had to be called for support.

** An armed individual began to fire a weapon at his neighbors and their homes. All members of the Chaffee County Sheriffs Office were called to a very large perimeter.

** An armed individual menaced two Lake County deputies which resulted in a high speed pursuit into Chaffee County. The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office became involved and required a call-out of all personnel.

According to the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation staff and the Salida Chamber of Commerce, the summer population ofChaffeeCountyswells by thousands of daily visitors engaged in activities in our county. Over 275,000 rafters will travel theArkansas Riverover the course of the three summer months.  In addition, the county hosts innumerable hikers, cyclists, ATV enthusiasts; and in the fall and winter, hunters and skiers.           

As of June 2012 nearly 54% of the overtime budget has been depleted. It is imperative that the sheriff’s office have overtime funds available to operate in a safe and efficient manner. Therefore we are requesting that the same appropriation be made to our overtime budget for 2013.

Line Item 12050, Legal Services: We request funding at the current amount of $10,000. We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category

Line Item 12100, Office Supplies: We request funding at the current amount of $7,500. We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category.

Line Item 12200, Operating Supplies: In the 2012 budget we did not ask for an increase. As of June 2012 we have spent approximately 52% of our budget. We anticipate the need to replace and add shelving in our records archive area. With this cost in mind and due to inflation we are asking for an additional $1000.00 which is a 22% increase.

Line Item 12300, Guns and Ammo: In 2012 our ammunition and Taser costs rose by approximately 5%. In 2013 we are asking for an additional $500.00 to cover these costs. This additional request is a 6.6% increase over our 2012 budget.

Line Item 12900, Vaccines for Employees: We request funding at the current amount of $200.  We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category.

Line Item 13100, Mechanic Services: We request funding at the current amount of $6,000.  We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category.

Line Item 13140, Computer Services: We request funding at the current amount of $1,200. We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category.

Line Item 13200, Tech Maintenance and Support: We request funding at the current amount of $1,500.  We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category.

Line Item 13210, Telephone: We request funding at the current amount of $25,000.  We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category.

Line Item 13220, Postage: As of June we have depleted this item by 57%. Due to the rising cost of postage and shipping we are requesting an increase of $500.00. This is a 25% increase.

Line Item 13300, Travel and Transportation: As of June 2012 we have depleted nearly our entire travel budget. We have put strict guidelines on lodging however increased costs have had a dramatic effect on our bottom line. We have also seen an increase in travel expenses due to decreased funding by the Central Mountain Training Foundation. Therefore we are asking for an additional $1500.00 which is a 37% increase.

Line Item 13500, Vehicle Operation: As of June we have spent approximately 54% of our budget for this item. The continued rising cost of fuel has had an effect on our ability to stabilize our fuel costs. In the 2012 budget we were granted a 10% increase ($6000.00). We are asking for the same increase of 10% which is $6600.00.

Line Item 13620, Tires, Batteries & Accessories: We have continued to purchase our tires on a bid process. This is important not only because we now get competitive pricing. It also has put us in the position to purchase speed rated tires which dramatically increases the safety of our personnel. Our funding is stable at the current rate so we ask for no additional monies. 

Line Item 13700, Uniforms: We continue to upgrade our uniforms and equipment. This is essential for the safety of our personnel. It also improves our overall professional appearance to our communities. As of June we have spent 55% of our uniform budget, however our U.S. Forest Service grant will off-set part of these costs. We anticipate re-funding by the Forest Service so we anticipate no additional funding will be necessary in 2013.

Line Item 13750, Utilities: We request funding at the current amount of $13,000.  We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category.

Line Item 13770, Janitorial: We are asking for funding at the current amount of $800.  We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category.

Line Item 13830, Maintenance Contracts/Office Equipment: We are confident that our current funding is sufficient therefore we are asking for no additional funding.

Line Item 13850, Tactical Team: In 2012 our tactical team was utilized numerous times at high risk situations. The team has proven to be vital to all law enforcement agencies in Chaffee County. We currently operate the only tactical team in Chaffee County. Their response time and availability has proven to be a tremendous asset to all of our citizens and deputies as well.

We continue to outfit our team with equipment and training that is necessary to improve both safety and efficiency.

We received $6000.00 in funding in 2012 and are asking for the same amount in 2013.

Line Item 13930, Vehicle Repair and Maintenance: As of June 2012 we have depleted nearly 50% of our maintenance budget. In 2012 we were able to purchase 4 new vehicles for our patrol fleet. We still have 4 vehicles in our fleet that have an average of 115,000 miles. Our personnel have done an excellent job in maintaining these vehicles however normal to adverse wear and tear has taken its toll. It is these higher mile vehicles that are costing us to keep repaired and in safe running condition. If we are able to replace our highest mileage vehicles through asset replacement we should be able to stabilize and even decrease our repair and maintenance funding. At this point we are not asking for an increase in funding based on the assumption we are allowed to purchase 3 equipped vehicles.

Line Item 14100, Miscellaneous & Medical Prevention:  We request funding at the current amount of $250.  We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category.  

Line Item 14150, Public Relations: We request funding at the current amount of $2500.00. We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category.

Line Item 14200, Dues and Meetings: We request funding at the current amount of $7,000. We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category.

Line Item 14300, Training: Employee development is a key objective in 2013. It is imperative that we provide training geared to improve customer service and improve employee performance and professionalism. Community/problem oriented policing will be the cornerstone on how we identify issues and problems, work with the community on resolving these issues and develop programs. In addition to the above we must continue to train our employees on current trends in patrol in criminal investigative techniques. In 2012 we were allocated $7000.00 for training. We anticipate this to be adequate for 2013 and request no additional resources. 

Line Item 14350, Criminal Investigations: Criminal investigation and professional law enforcement services are priorities on our operation.  We have developed our own crime scene investigation team comprised solely of our own deputies who have trained extensively in crime scene processing and evidence collection. This is a tremendous asset to the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office as well as other law enforcement agencies in our county. We must continue to train and support this function. We have been able to support this function with our current funding allocation and are therefore requesting no additional funding above the present amount of $8,500.

Line Item 14400, Search and Rescue: We request funding at the current amount of $5000.00. We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category.

Line Item 14420, Fire Control Insurance: We request funding at the current amount of $5,000.  We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category.

Line Item 14430, Fire Control Operation: We request funding at the current amount of $1,000.  We do not anticipate the need to increase funding in this category. 

Line Item 14500, Asset Replacement Fund:  Our current fleet of vehicles is in much better shape this year due to the fact that we were able to replace 4 vehicles in 2012. Of the 19 vehicles that are used for patrol or investigative and administrative functions, six have over 108,000.  As of June 2012 we have exhausted 55% of our budgeted amount for repairs and maintenance. The high mileage vehicles continue to be a drain on our repair budget. The equipment installed in these older vehicles is getting to a point where it is unusable.  It is imperative that we have both vehicles and emergency equipment that is in good operating condition. We request funding in 2013 to replace a minimum of three new vehicles. Included in this request are funds to purchase new equipment for the vehicles as well, because the newer car body styles prevent the installation of our current equipment and as stated previously our older equipment is in poor working condition. We have inquired as to the costs of vehicles and equipment and are able to provide a price of both vehicles and equipment.  Due to the current high market prices for used vehicles, based on this years state bid prices we would be able to purchase brand new vehicles cheaper than used ones. The following is a breakdown of anticipated expenses:

            Cost per vehicle:                       $33,575.

            Equipment cost per vehicle:        4,200.

            Equipment Installation:                   900.

            Graphics:                                          500.

             Grand Total Cost per Vehicle: $39,175.

This cost estimate does not account for any money that would be received due to trade-in value of current vehicles that could be used to off-set these costs.

Line Item 15500, Transfer to Insurance:  Not applicable.

Line Item 17000, Small Equipment Purchase:  In 2012 we were budgeted $15,000 for the purchase of small equipment. As of June 2012 we have depleted nearly 40% of the budgeted amount. We still plan on expending this money on emergency equipment for our vehicles that are not equipped with light bars. We have not made this purchase yet because we want to make sure our overall budget supports this expenditure.

In 2013 we need to replace Tasers and radar units.

We currently have 8 Tasers that are in need of repair. Due to their age it is becoming nearly impossible to find parts and repair vendors. We have a current bid of $850.00 for the X-26 Taser plus 1 holster. Total cost for 8 Tasers is $6800.00.

We have 3 radar units that are in need of repair due to their age and longevity. We recently sent a unit off for repair and the company is indicating that they can no longer certify this model due to the condition. The cost of a new radar unit is $2800.00. If we replace the 3 units in need of repair this would total cost of $8400.00.

Total cost for radar units and taser units is $15,200.00

For 2013 we are requesting $15,200.00. This is a 1.3% increase.

Line Item 20000, Sheriff Capital Outlay: In 2012 Sleuth introduced an up-date to our current records management software. The new version is Sleuth 10.

The new software upgrade will allow a much broader interface where we won’t have to enter the same information 2 and 3 times in 1 report. It will streamline our reporting process and improve our overall records management system. This will improve our productivity in that we will spend less time entering redundant information. The new version will also improve report quality in that it will ensure information is consistent throughout.

The price for software and training is $14,000.00. We are requesting this amount for this expenditure.