Sunday, March 22, 2009

CPD budget meetings always interesting

The CPD, represented by the Chief and Asst. Chief, came to last week's budget meeting. There was a pretty frank discussion about the budget, including my question about the impact of potential further reductions to the CPD budget.

Totally unrelated to the budget though was something that caught my attention.

A few years ago when Gary Walberg became Chief, I recall a story about the CPD dress code. If memory serves me, former Chief Walberg explained that he was eliminating the use of white dress shirts for the four top officers (including himself) of the PD because he wanted everyone to be the same.

Anyway, at the budget meeting, it appeared that rule has been modified again. These meetings always offer me something to ponder.

Tim White

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ponder something or an issue that has substance, like over spending by the town govt. The public does not really care about the color of shirts.

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

I agree... The color of the shirt doesnt change the quality of work they perform. The council should take a hard, long look at public safety before cutting protection services. These guys and girls are already some of the lowest paid in the area and we should try to keep them here.

Anonymous said...

Cruess asks for a substancial raise and you worry about the color of his shirt?
Thats like washing your dishes as your house burns down.

tim white said...

The raise request was from last year. And ultimately, it was about a 6% raise... which seems a bit much to me. I got the information about townwide raises a while ago (and posted it here), but this Council is loathe to ask about take home vehicles... so they're not going to discuss payraises even if they were north of 10%.

Anonymous said...

The police are well taken care of in Chesire--I wouldn't feel sorry for them

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

Actually, Cheshire Police are among the lowest paid in the area. All of our neighboring towns pay their officers more to start as an untrained officer than we pay after 3 years. I think that the police have a much more dangerous job than the teachers and should be better compensated. Whatever the teachers get for a rasie, the police should get too.

Anonymous said...

Do you have some numbers on pay for surrounding town police officers? Some how I think being an officer in say Waterbury is worth a lot more in pay than here in Cheshire.

Anonymous said...

since we have these new fancy explorers with seating for five I think we should just put all the cops on the shift in one car and drive around...but seriously with some of these corporations cancelling orders for planes and helicopters maybe we should look at picking up a police helicopter...now that would be sweet with rockets and stuff...warning!!! sarcasm

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

A few weeks ago, the Meriden Record Journal had a story about local police and the pay they recieve. This isnt just a current issue, this has been going on for decades. Cheshire lost a good officer to Hamden a few years back because of wages. Cheshire paid for his training at the police academy. That made him a better candidate for Hamden. My father was a Cheshire officer for 2 years in the early 70's. He also left Cheshire for Wallingford because of better pay.

As far as the Expeditions go, these 2 vehicles make the Cheshire Police a better department. They allow the officers to access areas quickly that a Crown Vic could not. Also, during times of incliment weather, they allow officers to patrol the town without having to add tire chains or avoid areas that are not cleared. When Cheshire purchased these 2 trucks, we did not add them to the fleet count, they replaced existing vehicles. 1 Expedition replaced the overloaded and over worked Explorer that the traffic division had and the other replaced the shift commanders car. While they do cost more to purchase and operate, I believe the police chief made a wise decision on these because of the added benefits they allow the residents. The Crown Vic police car isnt going away, and we will probably get 10+ years of service from the Expeditions much like we got from the Explorer. Atleast we didnt waste more money on Hummers!(like North Haven)

Anonymous said...

In private industry, you ONLY increase wages when you have increased turnover AND can afford to pay more. You don't dole out pay raises simply because salaries are lower here than somewhere else. IF employees are leaving in droves, that's one thing. But because an "officer left Cheshire to go to Hamden a few years ago", alone is not reason to raise wages....

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

What I was saying was if we are footing the bill to train these officers to the state standard, why not try to keep them here? Many towns look for certified police officers to fill vacencies because it is cheaper to hire trained than to pay a salary for the 6 months that you get nothing out of them. Basicly, we saved Hamden $50-60,000 by training their officer and probably did not get our own monies worth back. Consider the cost of insurance, pension, uniforms, and overtime and the amount could be higher. This is not the only officer to leave, but he came to mind first. As far as I know, Cheshire hasn't had the chance to capitalize like other towns because our pay is considerably lower.