Jamestown Police Chief Tim Jackson has described tentative 2024 budget as “one of the best ones for the department in years.”
Jackson, presenting to Jamestown City Council, said the only issue he has in his budget is the cost of disposable gloves that skyrocketed during the Pandemic and never came down, “So, this year we’ve spent $7,242.16 on gloves alone. We’re budgeted for $8,000 so we’re going to exceed that because we have to place another order and that costs about $1,900. We requested $20,000 because not only has the cost of gloves increased, but also the more drugs we seize the more often we use gloves.”
Jackson said a box of 100 gloves is now $15.99 and cheaper ones are “unusable.” The executive budget only has $8,000 funded for that supplies line.
Jackson added they had looked at combining glove purchasing with the Fire Department but the gloves the Fire Department uses are even more expensive, so it was still cheaper for the Police Department to make that purchase on their own.
Capital requests include four new police vehicles at a cost of $193,505 and a new DrySafe forensic evidence drying cabinet for $12,794 that would replace old lockers being used to dry evidence.
Jackson said this budget also includes the first time the Department’s Investigative Fund has ever been funded.
Deputy Fire Chief Matt Coon said total emergency medical services calls have remained flat in 2023 compared with this same time in 2022. He said Jamestown is still relying on mutual aid to help absorb the heavy call volume.
He said he anticipates three Fire Fighters will retire in 2024 with two already signed up. Coon said of the eight firefighters the city is trying to hire through the SAFER grant, there are just three candidates right now. He said the goal is to send those three recruits through training in February 2024.
Coon said the lack of EMT certification is one of the requirements making it hard to find recruits.
He added that fire impact payments are expected to decrease between $10 to $15,000 as additional staff are hired and brought on board.
Under general budget discussion, Deputy Comptroller Carol Malek shared that the 2022 budget has finally been closed out. She said she has been working with former Comptroller Joe Bellitto on that task, having received extensions from New York State and the Federal government to complete that work. Malek said the city will not be assessed any late penalties for not having last year’s budget closed out and an audit completed.
She said auditors will be coming in over the next two months to work to complete the 2022 audit of city finances.
Council member at large Kim Ecklund requested an “over/under report” given that the audit would not be complete before Council needs to vote on the budget by December 1.