Written by Bob Hogan Friday, 13 November 2009 00:00The Port Washington Police District’s 2010 spending plan is $16,676,454, which represents a decrease of 2.5 percent from last year. There is also a decrease in the tax levy of 3.6 percent.
The district’s expenses for 2010 are as follows:
Equipment and Capital Improvements-$266,750
Repairs and Maintenance-$88,500
Retirement, Workers’ Comp, Medical Insurance and Misc.-$4,981,500
Provisions for Future Retirements-$500,000
Chief of Police-one position-$174,045
Assistant Deputy Chiefs-two positions-$343,090
Detective Sergeant-one position-$152,789
Detectives-three grade-eight positions-$1,038,237
*Night differential, overtime, accumulated comp time.
Total for positions and salaries 86.25/$9,822,971
Total estimated revenue-$122,347
Fund to reduce tax levy-$750,000
Payment in lieu of taxes-$413,882
Amount to be raised by taxation (tax levy)-$15,390,22
(Ed.’s note: The PWPD advises that the proposed 2010 budget can be FOILed at Police Headquarters. As a point of information, taxpayers do not vote to approve/disapprove this, or any special district budgets.)
The following list of questions was submitted to Commissioner Salvatore Zimbardi of the Port Washington Police District who, in collaboration with the other police commissioners, formulated the responses.
Port Washington News (PWN): The budget printout states that the total budget expenses of $16.6 million represent a decrease from last year of 2.5 percent. The amount raised by taxation appears to be decreasing 3.6 percent. To what do you attribute the savings?
Port Washington Police District (PWPD): This is due to a reduction of mandated expenses and operating expenses.
PWN: Do you have any estimate on how these savings will be reflected on the homeowners’ annual tax bill?
PWPD: Based on the information (tax rates, taxable assessed values and pilot payments) provided to us by the Town of North Hempstead, there should be a decrease in police district taxes.
PWN: The total staffing of the district cites 86 positions. Is this an increase or decrease over the past year?
PWPD: The 86 positions represents a decrease from 89 positions in 2009.
PWN: Retirement costs appear to be averaging over 10 percent of the budget. Do you anticipate any major increases in the near future resulting from an extraordinary number of retirement applications?
PWPD: No, but we are exploring other retirement options, which may result in lowering these costs.
PWN: Have crime statistics varied for the first half of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008? Is the community seeing an increase or decrease or has criminal activity remained about the same?
PWPD: The community has seen a decrease in criminal activity.
PWN: Have arrests by the uniformed force varied for the first half of 2009 compared to the same in 2008? Has arrest activity of detectives increased, decreased or remained about the same?
PWPD: Patrol arrests have increased and detective arrests remained about the same.
PWN: Have injuries to the uniformed force varied for the first half of 2009 compared to the same in 2008? Have injuries to detectives increased, decreased or remained about the same.
PWPD: We continually educate our officers in various policing methods designed to avoid injuries.
PWN: How effective is policing in Port compared with surrounding communities and Nassau County in general?
PWPD: Extremely effective. We are a service-oriented police agency with an exceptional rapid response time.
PWN: Are there any major budget increases under consideration in the near future?
PWPD: None at this time. However, we are in negotiations to attempt to reduce the impact of retirement payouts.
PWN: Is there any new police equipment, procedures, or legislation on which you would like to comment?
PWPD: Speed monitor equipment to ensure a safer community with reductions in traffic accidents. We also seek federal and state grants for police equipment.
PWN: Is consideration still being given to the construction of a new police facility in Port Washington?
PWPD: We are exploring all options. We always need to look long term.
PWN: Are there any components of the 2010 budget that you would like to explain in greater detail to the Port Washington community?
PWPD: Eighty-six percent of the budget consists of contractual obligations and related mandates.
PWN: Do you have any general comments to make to the community concerning the services of the Port Washington Police District?
PWPD: We are proud of the service we provide to the community. We have always attempted to keep in the forefront of the law enforcement community, but in the most cost-effective way possible. We have received numerous compliments from the members of the community about our service.