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Date last updated: Sunday, November 13, 8:56 PST
Ill. cops cite accomplishments, seek extra funds
By Steve Zalusky
Despite staff cutbacks that affected every village department, Mount Prospect Police Chief John Dahlberg pointed to a series of successes in 2011 as he delivered his budget presentation before village trustees this week.
At the top of list was the performance of the special investigations/gang intelligence unit supervised by Sgt. Anthony Addante.The unit, Dahlberg said, has been responsible for 15 felony arrests, 37 misdemeanor arrests and 42 ordinance violations this year.
"These types of units, and their return on investment, are significant," he said. "I don't think it is a coincidence that our juvenile arrests are up 30 percent this year and our property crimes are down 10 percent."
Overall, the chief said, the village has seen the number of crimes fall by more than 10 percent, and by about 50 percent when it comes to felonies over the past three years.
Dahlberg pointed out the department's accomplishments while asking village trustees to include an additional $500,000 for the force in next year's budget.The total police department budget for 2012 is projected at $15.2 million.
Among the expected expenses next year is the replacement of the department's 12-year-old radio system, including the purchase of 100 multichannel portable radios and 18 multichannel vehicle radios, at a cost of about $447,000. The current radio system will no longer be supported by Motorola, Dahlberg said.
Much of the discussion after Dahlberg's presentation focused on the department's use of overtime. Dahlberg said that the patrol budget for this year is on target to beat 2011 budget estimates by $200,000, and the five-year running aggregate total is approaching $1 million under budget.
That led some trustees to wonder whether they should budget less for the department, and earmark the funds elsewhere.
"Based on the history (in his presentation), it seems to me like we're budgeting twice as much overtime as we historically have needed,"Trustee Arlene Juracek said.
Dahlberg, however, said the department has been fortunate in recent years to avoid major events that require significant overtime, but that could change at any time.
"We have to be very careful about taking away that overtime," he said.
Village Manger Michael Janonis said that at the end of the year leftover overtime funding goes back to the village's general fund.
Copyright 2011 Paddock Publications, Inc.