2015 Five-Year Capital Budget Plan: The Police Department

One of the first divisions to sit during this year’s Capital Budget Workshop and provide information on their five-year outlook was the Roselle Park Police Department (RPPD). As part of last year’s recommendation from council to better focus departments as well as prepare the governing body on large capital expenses, each bureau was requested to present a five-year outlook. The plan is to review the outlook every year an adjust costs according to need or budgetary constraints.

What originally was presented as a $301,000 capital request amount over five years was almost immediately reduced by over 25% when Police Chief Paul Morrison recommended that the cost for parking meters of $76,000 be postponed, at least, for the rest of 2015. A cost analysis of purchasing new meters along with associated credit card fees were the factors behind seeing if the parking meters can be free to not only save on those costs but also become an incentive to have people visit businesses downtown. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ken Blum stated that the revenue lost from those meters was around $5,000 and would be less than the costs to pay bank transaction fees.

With that cost removed, the projected amount requested by the RPPD for 2015 in order to purchase an upgraded encrypted e-mail server, rubber tile flooring for the dispatch center, and security enhancements to certain areas of the station came to $45,000.

2016 has a proposed expense of $40,000 replace duty weapons and purchase a cellular solar-powered message sign board. This board would be used for police and safety-related messages as well as during emergencies.

2017 has the police department requesting a four-wheel drive Chevy Tahoe to be used to hold and transport equipment as well as to be utilized as a police vehicle for $40,000. An additional solar-powered arrow sign board for $5,000 was requested to have the third year in the five-year outlook total a $50,000 capital budget request.

Year 4 (2018) has body cameras and related software for $30,000 as well as replacement of AR-15 and M4 rifles at a cost of $10,000 to total $40,000. Chief Morrison believed that body cameras will become a requirement in the near future and included that cost to be adjusted dependent upon when such a requirement is enacted.

2019 has the purchase of a solar-powered mobile license plate reader with radar and sign board for $50,000 as the final year’s sole capital purchase. Currently, the police department has one portable license plate reader in a vehicle. This new proposed unit would be placed throughout the borough and serve not only as a radar speed reminder but also as a license logger of vehicles driving past it.

RPPD has a budget of $225,000 in capital requests over half a decade. These costs do not include salaries or purchases that cannot show depreciation for budgetary purposes.

In comparison, capital purchases by the police department from 2009-2014 were actually higher at $295,650. Those capital purchases over that time period were for high resolution surveillance cameras, on-board digital cameras for vehicles, a video recording system, mandatory radio upgrades, and defibrillators. The annual purchases for those five years varied from $16,000 one year to $86,000 the very next year then back to $50,000 and up to $100,000. These next five years are at a more leveled annual amount in the $45,000 range.

The governing body will discuss these requests, along with those from other departments, before passing the 2015 capital budget. The next capital Budget Workshop is scheduled for tomoroow night, April 23rd at 6:30 p.m. upstairs in Borough Hall.

Replacement Of Parking Meters (10 Central Meters)
Email Server Encryption Account (Police Emails)
Rubber Tile Flooring for Dispatch Center
Security Enhancements
Solar-Powered Message Board
Replacement Of Duty Weapons
Four-Wheel Drive Chevy Tahoe
Solar-Powered Arrow Sign Board
Body Cameras and Software
Replacement Of Duty Rifles
Solar-Powered Mobile License Plate Reader
with Radar and Sign Board