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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cost of a Police Officer?

Cost of a Police Officer

At a recent budget workshop, a statement was made that the cost savings of combining COA/Library/Veterans/Recreation & Culture into the department of Community Services would generate roughly $20,000. One selectmen felt this amount would be enough to fund a police officer by the year 2019.

From the Gardner News article ' Debate split over merger of COA and library directors April 12, 2017:
"Selectmen Chairman John Caplis noted that although Dianna Morrison has performed her job well as Council on Aging director, selectmen “have to look at the entire community as a whole.” In addition, he said he “looked at the future. I said OK, it’s not just about today, or maybe tomorrow. It might be year from now or two years from now. What happens with the cost savings that reflects from that position back into the community? We’ve been talking about a police officer for how many years?”

Caplis said that based on the savings that would be created by combining the two positions, the town would have the potential by the year 2019 of hiring a full-time police officer who will have the opportunity to patrol the streets and “make us all safe.” "

If a savings of $20,000 were to be realized by merging departments, the above statement ignores the fact that the savings is on a one year basis. Something else will come along along the next fiscal year and gobble up that savings. It always does.

As an aside, the cost of a police officer is much more than $20,000. 
$20,000 might cover the benefit package for a FT police officer, but certainly not the salary and OT costs.


  1. I would like to know how many people in town "feel safer" due to more police presence? The two do not always go together.

  2. This sounds exactly like the same math the selectman and TA have been using right along.We haven,t even realized the savings and already the plan is to spend 4 times the saving on a FT Police officer we dont need!
    Our public safety budget increase from 2016-17 is over 15%, Why?

  3. I was told a little story today about the income the town has to spend. Estimated income is a hard one to pin point. The exact amount is a variable and until many factors are in hard to call a hard number.
    The question is with few questions and having the estimated amount since January why is it now the AC has a hard time with the amounts we have available.

  4. right on, bob m, as usual !!!!! why only 4 times ??? I thought the "usual" was more !