RANDOLPH, NJ – Police Chief David Stokoe presented the police department budget at the town council budget meeting on Thursday, March 10.
Chief David Stokoe explained how he kept overtime below budget in 2015, but requested the same amount for the 2016 budget.
Stokoe presented several factors impacting overtime hours for officers: these factors include the required minimum of patrolmen on duty, county requests for officers and leave for medical procedures.
“Police work is unpredictable,” said Stokoe. “We were $10,000 under budget, but I see that as one large incident away from going over.”
Councilwoman Veech asked how future Bail Reform Legislation would affect overtime hours.
Stokoe explained Morris County is a pilot county in the state for this program, and changes will begin in the next few months.
“[Bail Reform Legislation] affects supervision and reporting,” Stokoe stated. “All arrest reports must be completed within 24 hours of the arrest.”
Stokoe also recommends setting aside funds each year in preparation for the purchase of expiring equipment. Rifle grade body armor expires after five years, and vehicle radios must be replaced every five years.
The state will introduce new requirements for the DWI Breath Test this year. “We should be ready to buy the equipment once the policy is introduced,” Stokoe said.
Stokoe mentioned the future need for body-worn cameras, but will be researching the best product this year. State policy has not been set on body-worn cameras, and he advised the town should wait before purchasing.
Funds budgeted for the 75-year celebration were moved towards thermal imaging equipment. The department has celebrated the anniversary, and believes the funds would be better used on this equipment.
The 2016 Municipal Budget will be introduced on March 31. Adoption of the budget takes place on April 21.