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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, August 20, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesPOLICE MUST CUT EQUIPMENT TO MEET BUDGET

POLICE MUST CUT EQUIPMENT TO MEET BUDGET

Franz Christian, commissioner of Public Safety, told the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday he can trim his Fiscal Year 2000 budget by 11 percent by cutting spending for equipment in half, eliminating spending for maintenance and hiring non-police personnel.
Christian told the committee that 94 percent of his budget goes to payroll and overtime expenditures. And even at that level, the commissioner said he is suffering a loss of personnel, most of whom cite low pay as the primary reason they are leaving the police force.
The loss of trained and experienced police, Christian said, is a problem. Some new applicants are less qualified than those with years of experience, and other, more experienced officers seeking transfer to the Virgin Islands, are discouraged by the pay scale.
Given the current financial condition of the territory, the commissioner outlined a V.I.Police Department reorganization plan that would result in a modest savings to the department.
The plan calls for a shuffle of the police hierarchy. Instead of one chief of police for each of two districts, the commissioner proposes the appointment of a single territorial chief and three deputy police chiefs, one for St. Thomas-Water Island, one for St. John and one for St. Croix.
To whittle away at the projected $2.8 million dollar overtime expenditure, Christian recommended shifting the cost of police presence at special events to the event promoters and curtailing the use of police to special security details like the one that escorts the governor and other high officials.
"For many years the department has been absorbing these costs. These are not budgeted costs and it has put a tremendous strain on the department's budget," he said.

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Franz Christian, commissioner of Public Safety, told the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday he can trim his Fiscal Year 2000 budget by 11 percent by cutting spending for equipment in half, eliminating spending for maintenance and hiring non-police personnel.
Christian told the committee that 94 percent of his budget goes to payroll and overtime expenditures. And even at that level, the commissioner said he is suffering a loss of personnel, most of whom cite low pay as the primary reason they are leaving the police force.
The loss of trained and experienced police, Christian said, is a problem. Some new applicants are less qualified than those with years of experience, and other, more experienced officers seeking transfer to the Virgin Islands, are discouraged by the pay scale.
Given the current financial condition of the territory, the commissioner outlined a V.I.Police Department reorganization plan that would result in a modest savings to the department.
The plan calls for a shuffle of the police hierarchy. Instead of one chief of police for each of two districts, the commissioner proposes the appointment of a single territorial chief and three deputy police chiefs, one for St. Thomas-Water Island, one for St. John and one for St. Croix.
To whittle away at the projected $2.8 million dollar overtime expenditure, Christian recommended shifting the cost of police presence at special events to the event promoters and curtailing the use of police to special security details like the one that escorts the governor and other high officials.
"For many years the department has been absorbing these costs. These are not budgeted costs and it has put a tremendous strain on the department's budget," he said.