Date: July 8, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., moved to Fulton Police Department Conference Room due to Tourism Meeting running longer in the City Council Chambers.
Present: Council Committee Members: Margaret Crosthwaite-chair, Paul Banker and MikeVanZuiden, Fulton Police Chief David Bartels, Sgt. Nick Neblung, Sgt.
Dwayne Hamilton, City Administrator Randall Boonstra Chairperson Crosthwaite called meeting to order at 5:03 p.m. ITEMS OF DISCUSSIONS:
RADIOS- upgrades- How do we budget for it?
Per Chief Bartels unknown until we have hard numbers to work with. Chief Bartels informed the committee a meeting has been scheduled to discuss possible fees and costs associated with these radio/portable radio upgrades, being led by Whiteside County Sheriffs Office Lt. Molina, possibly some Whiteside County 911 Board members, all Whiteside County municipalities' Chiefs and Sergeants have been invited and all City Council Members are encouraged to attend.
·*** Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at Morrison Super Wash Council Room
The more people that are informed earlier in these discussions/changes, the better understanding we all will have on the affects to our city's responsibilities. Example given again, on current Whiteside County Communications radio usage cost- City of Sterling - $300,000/ yr., City of Fulton - $1,000/yr.
At the last city council meeting it was discussed about possibly identifying local county board members to come speak to us on this topic. City Administrator Boonstra stated he spoke with Larry Russell who stated he is not on this board.
City Administrator Boonstra advised he has reached out to the USDA Rural Assistance Grant to start dialogue.
Progress has been made. Thank you Alderperson VanKampen, for going out the next day, after last city council meeting, to search for funding avenues on this matter. Alderperson VanKampen spoke with Dan Dolan, of The Dispensary Fulton, who has agreed to cover the total cost for replacing all four officers' protective vests/carriers. Currently 3 officers vest certifications are expired and another expires in December of 2020. 4 vests/carriers have been ordered, delivery project October/November 2020 and Chief Bartles hand delivered the invoice to Jeff Soenksen on July 7,2020 to get to Dan Dolan for payment. Our department had to place order by July 16,2020 to be able to purchase at last year's cost. Total expense was approximately $3,883 and odd cents.
Further discussions were had on where the other current officers stand on vest certifications, one has 2 yrs. left and the other has 3 yrs. left. Unknown on our next hire(s), possibly they will be able to bring their own vest (if currently a department certified officer) with Fulton PD having the option to pay out the remaining usage cost to the previous department or we may have to purchase new vests/carriers, it all depends.
Looking forward on budgeting for this we may want to set up a similar fund to Fund 77, where we allow citizen donations to the police department be placed and usages of funds for police department equipment. City Administrator Boonstra suggested budgeting $500 per year (next budget) to get a start on future expenses.
The department's Durango air conditioning has gone out. Cost to fix is approximately $1400.00. The vehicle is a 2013 or 2014 with 90,000 miles. We will not be fixing it. Officer Leitzen will continue to drive this vehicle and when weather or he gets too hot, he has been instructed to use another squad to patrol.
BUDGET PROGRESSION- Shortages vs Surplus
City Administrator Boonstra presented a current Budget to Actual and stated we are a third of the way into the current budget and a lot of overages are due to seasonality and having to make some payments up front.
- Overtime Budget- at $6,288, Last pay period had 5 weeks = 25%
Chief Bartels advised shift changes are being planned/made to compensate for being down 2 officers and to elevate overtime. costs. Sgt. Neblung has been brought out of Investigations to help cover patrol shortages. Once school starts, August 17th, 2020, Officer Leitzen will be covering his SRO duties and Sgt.
Hamilton will be modifying his schedule (a few schedules are being discussed and will be finalized prior to implementation) through October 2020. It was reiterated there are a few vacations/FMLA that were approved prior to shortages that are required to be honored. A Prophetstown PD Sergeant assisted with Part-time coverage over the July 4th weekend, totaling 24 hours at PT rate. Also, starting in August the department will be allowing only l officer off at one time to assist elevating overtime costs while the department is continuing the new officer hiring process.
- Vehicle Budget- have spent $1,500 of $4,000 budgeted
- Vehicle Maintenance Service- $1,083 of $2,500 budgeted
- Legal Services - $1,276 of $1,500 Sgt. Neblung advised $700 of this was used to hire a dictation service for numerous interviews on a sexual assault case and the agency was able to turnaround all dictations in one day. This service could not have been accomplished by our departments one secretary.
- Revenue Funding- Hamilton showed committee members the Department Challenge Coin that has been ordered and will be available for purchase to the community. Cost was $1,250 for 200 challenge coins ($6.25 each). Research is still being done on how to accomplish sales to outside department requests and keeping mailing profit-cost margin low. Sgt. Hamilton will keep us updated.
Bicycle Patrol Program- Due to officer shortages put on hold to make it effective. Still waiting on putting all equipment together. Once up and running will have one brand new bicycle and one refurbished bicycle. Hopefully some usage will be seen yet in 2020.
WHCO SWAT- Chief Bartels informed committee ALL Fulton PD members passed the SWAT Baseline Certification today to be on this valuable county/community resource team.
Community Policing- Covid-19 put a halt in starting the program however, Chief Bartels stated he is hearing a lot of positive comments since implementing this program. Citizens and business owners are liking that officers are getting out and speaking with them. Being down 2 officers, this is requiring current staff to cover extra assigned areas. Nuisance complaints (grass, etc.) are being addressed, first push has been taken which has led to more complaints, a wave effect.
Officers are addressing each issue as they arise. Some nuisance ordinances complaints/follow-ups are being reviewed with city attorney's office for direction.
Councilperson Banker motioned to go into closed session to discuss personnel at
5:24 p.m., seconded by Councilperson VanZuiden.
Councilperson Banker motioned to go out of closed session and seconded by Councilperson Crosthwaite to go back into regular committee meeting at 5:50 p.m.
Committee members recommend and request the city council approve the hiring of one full-time officer at this time and the hiring of the second full-time officer at the beginning of the next year (January or February 2021) to replace the two full-time officers our department is currently down. This will allow the Fulton Police Department to continue the hiring process after officer applications deadline ends July 30,2020. This will bring a small savings to the city to off-set the hiring times. City Administrator Boonstra added that the salary savings would also be available to cover any overtime cost incurred during this time.
Committee recommends and request the city council approve the Fulton Police Department enter talks with the Whiteside County Sheriffs office to see if it is feasibly cost effective on having the Whiteside County Sheriff's Office deputies either cover patrol times or allowing us to hire an off-duty WHCO deputy ( with WHCO squad/equipment extra expense) to assist in patrolling in City of Fulton.
This is another option of lowering overtime occurrence due to being 2 patrol officers down.
Next Public Safety Meeting will be planned one week prior to the meeting date, due to work schedules.
Meeting was adjourned at 6:00 p.m., by all committee members voting yea. Submitted by Councilperson Margaret Crosthwaite