Colton officials are considering raising the city’s annual General Fund Transfer and General Fund Reserve to help pay for police positions.
City Council members approved the hiring of a police captain during their meeting on July 13, causing them to consider ways to fund the position in upcoming years.
Finance Director Stacey Dabbs brought forth recommendations from the city’s finance committee to adjust monies within the General Fund Transfer and General Fund Reserve to address costs.
The captain post, along with suggestions to eliminate a currently vacant police support services manager position and reclassify one administrative position, requires adding $130,000 to the police department’s 2017-18 Fiscal Budget, Dabbs explained.
Dabbs said finance committee members suggested raising the annual General Fund Transfer from about 18.9 percent to 20 percent–the maximum amount allowed to be taken out of Electric Utility reserves–and increasing the General Fund Reserve from 10 percent to 15 percent to fund the position.
Staff will present the recommendations to the Measure D oversight committee before formulating a final proposal to the Council for approval.
Officials agreed that adding a captain to the police department will strengthen day-to-day operations and help deal with quality of life issues.
“We believed all along through the [budget] workshops that creating a captain [position] was deserving,” expressed Mayor Richard de la Rosa. “It’s not an easy decision because we’re spending more money. But public safety is an area we cannot short change.”
In his presentation Police Chief Mark Owens reiterated previous comments regarding the importance of adding a captain to his department. Owens claims adding the additional command post will bolster personnel and improve officer morale.
“By having the captain, it gives us unity of command,” Owens said. “It allows us to plan for long term goal setting, have a succession plan in place, and provide necessary training to officers coming up in command structure. It will also allow us to align our responses with leadership priorities.”
City Treasurer Aurelio de la Torre also expressed support for the finance committee’s recommendations.
“I think it shows that the Council and Mayor are good stewards for the taxpayers,” De la Torre said. “The return you will get on the management side from the captain will be rewarding.”