Tomorrow insured for the police | News, Sports, Jobs
HUBBARD TOWNSHIP – The future is brewing for the Hubbard Township Police Department.
Concerns were raised at the end of 2019 that the department may have to cease operations, with the township opting for another agency for its police protection.
But now the ministry has become more solvent due to the fact that several administrative police posts remain vacant after retirements, the receipt of grants for bulletproof vests and other police items, as well as the passage of a renewal fee of 1.75 million.
Police chief Greg Tarr said when he took office this year as chief a “Much of the success of the police service has been the attrition and not the replacement of retiring employees. There were full-time employees, including the chief, a detective, an administrative assistant and two police officers who were not replaced. Rather, we had officers assigned to other tasks and roles. Everyone was open to it, and officers stepped up and took on additional roles.
He said the five full-time employees not replaced saved the department between $ 250,000 and $ 300,000.
“For a police service like the Township of Hubbard, $ 300,000 is very useful,” said Township Trustee Rick Hernandez, who serves as a liaison with the police department.
The ministry now has a chief, a captain, five full-time and four part-time officers. The administrative assistant is now part time with a 20 hour work week.
Tarr said in addition to his administrative duties, he was also on patrol.
Police worked with financial agent Jennifer Evans, who started in April 2020, on ways to save money and find cost-cutting measures. Tarr said they’ve cut back on cellphones, cleaning supplies, and even downsized a first aid kit.
Captain Ron Fusco said the police union hired a forensic accountant to review the finances when township administrators were considering moving to the Trumbull Sheriff’s Department and doing a three to four year projection. He said this review showed the ministry had never been financially “in the red.”
Fusco said the ministry received relief funds for COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021, which had helped a lot, but even without those dollars, the ministry was solvent. Tarr said COVID-19 funds helped “A tampon.”
Fusco said the ministry has gone from replacing a cruiser every year to now every two years. “We made significant cuts where we could”, he said.
Fusco said $ 10,000 in grants had been received to cover the costs of bulletproof vests – which are $ 1,000 each – and for police training.
Plans are to see what funds are available to hire additional part-time agents.
Officer Chris Gifford, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, said there were also concerns in 2019 about the dismissal of part-time officers if a renewal fee is not passed. He said administrators feared the police department would run out of cash in early 2020 and not be able to make payroll.
“The first sample attempt failed, but the second time it was accepted”, Gifford said, noting that the drawdown funds started in 2020.
A LOT OF WORK
Gifford said contract negotiations went well with the trustees. The latest contract was made by both parties in 47 minutes with compromises, he said. The union also agreed this year not to receive a uniform allowance, saving $ 1,150 per officer for five officers.
Trustee Hernandez said it took a lot of work to get to where the ministry is now.
“Administrators saw what the department needed and had to make decisions about staffing and how to reduce staff without downtime. The department operates very efficiently. It is a success. The department will be there for a long time ”, said Hernandez, who said he keeps in touch with the chef on a daily basis.
He said the administrators agreed that the chief and captain would do highway patrols as part of their responsibilities.
Gifford said the department also receives support from the City of Hubbard, Liberty and Brookfield Police when it needs help.
“They always come to support us because of our staff,” he said.
Fusco said there are concerns that the levy funds are still not sufficient,
“We knew we could survive if certain measures were taken. Cost reduction measures have been taken in management and in all areas, ”he said.
Tarr said when people ask how police provide protection with fewer staff, he explains that the township is covered by a two-man shift 85 to 95 percent of the time.
“We are able to do this with a leader and a captain patrolling the roads. Some people still ask me if we are able to stay open. We are solvent and here to stay, ”he said.
Tarr previously said that when a full-time agent cancels, a replacement works overtime.
“We don’t fill it anymore as long as there is an agent on the road to cover the calls. It’s a big saving in overtime, ”he said.
“We are convinced that if we continue at the pace at which we are, we will remain solvent. We will continue to monitor what we do with pocket money and how we operate, ”he said.
Tarr said the police appreciate all the support from the community. “The support we have received over the past two years from the community was beyond my expectations,” he said.