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CC Work Session
Discussion regarding Staffing During Police Officer Military Deployment
The Ramsey Police Department is budgeted for 25 licensed Police Officers in 2017 and 2018. Currently, the Police Department is staffed at 24 officers and in the hiring process to replace a recent officer resignation. If the hiring process is not delayed and the candidate successfully completes training, this new hire will be ready for duty in March 2018.
In addition to the current vacancy under recruitment, on September 7, 2017 a fulltime Police Officer went on military leave and deployed until July of 2018. This brings police officer staffing to 23 through March 2018, 24 through July 2018, and 25 thereafter. These staffing numbers do not account for medical leaves, planned or unplanned. The Human resources manager has done research and consulted the League of Minnesota Cities on options related to staffing during military deployments. The City can hire a Police Officer on a temporary basis to fill the position during military deployments. However, as we know, the person being hired would not replace the deployed officer; therefore the temporary officer would be laid off when the military leave is completed and eligible for unemployment wages paid by the City. This temporary employee would likely be eligible, per the union contract, to be recalled within two years before any new employee was hired. The field training time for an officer is a minimum of 3 months which is labor intensive and expensive. Staff doesn't recommend training a Police Officer for a temporary job.
There are personnel cost savings to the City related to military deployments and the Police Department working below budgeted staffing levels. The savings in this case is estimated to be just over $42,000. If not filled, the cost of overtime wages for 2018 will increase to fill the vacancy created by the military deployment. The savings amount equates to approximately fifty-two 12-hour shifts at overtime wages or about 60% of the deployed officer's missed hours.
In the five and ten year planning and budgeting documents, the Police Department identified the need for an additional police officer in 2019. This is based on population growth trends and calls for service. The city's estimated population is 26,800 and the police calls for service in 2017 is projected to exceed 12,000, an all time high.
Potential options for the City Council to consider include, but may not be limited to:
1) Direct staff to use existing officers, at overtime wages, to fill the schedule.
2) Direct staff to hire a temporary officer - not recommended.
3) Direct staff to hire a regular fulltime officer; likely utilizing the current recruitment roster. The cost of a fulltime officer hired in January 2018 would normally be approximately $78,030 in total; however with the savings listed above the additional cost would be about $36,000. It should be noted, this option would by-pass the normal 2019 budgeting discussions; automatically adding a fulltime Police Officer to the 2019 budget, which may put limitations on other City positions that may be necessary in 2019.
Staff is looking for discussion and direction from the City Council regarding staffing during this military leave.
Dependent on discussion, would be from 2018 operating budget.
Staff is looking for discussion and direction from the City Council on staffing during this military leave.
No file(s) attached.
09/07/2017 07:39 AM
09/07/2017 01:56 PM
Form Started By:
09/06/2017 10:02 AM
Final Approval Date:
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