By Frank Lewis
October 4, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware says, because of a grant his department received, he will most likely not need additional overtime funding. Ware said he looked over his department’s financial condition Thursday and believes he will be OK without asking for additional money to pay for overtime.
“There’s a multitude of reasons. I’ve done my best to work within the budget I was given,” Ware said. “We have been fortunate this year in that we had the federal grant money that allowed us to do some things over and beyond, and, at the same time, still put an officer out there that’s available. A lot of our overtime budget comes out of that (grant) because it originated from a grant activity, the Assistance to Rural Law Enforcement grant we have been using all year long to keep the extra officers out there.”
Ware said the grant was a part of the Recovery Act.
“We had the ability to take enforcement actions through that grant as opposed to paying overtime out of the general operating budget,” Ware said. “It has helped us tremendously.”
Ware said the grant ran out Monday (Sept. 30).
“Hopefully we have made lasting differences or impressions on the community, and hopefully, through some routine enforcement within our regular duties, that we can maintain the gains that we have made in making the neighborhoods still safer in traffic enforcement and reducing the crash-causing factors,” Ware said. “What we’re doing now is we’re crunching numbers and looking at the outcome, and seeing what the return on that investment was.”
On Tuesday, Portsmouth Fire Chief Bill Raison said, because of a loss of manpower over the last year, he was going to need $30,000 for overtime to help his department get through to the end of the year.
“We were fortunate that we didn’t have the loss of manpower that the fire department experienced this year,” Ware said. “We had one off for the birth of a child. We had one or two others with some significant health conditions this year. But for the most part we have been very lucky, and we have actually put two officers on the street this year so far. It’s a combination of factors, but those are the major ones.”
Ware said making his assigned budget work is why he was able to get by this year without asking for more money.
“I think we did a very good job this year of scrutinizing the use of the available funds that we have,” Ware said. “The grant certainly helped us, and I think all in all that the officers are doing a much better job of coming to work when they’re scheduled to work. That helps tremendously.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.