The city council of Amos faces a dilemma regarding the future of the town’s police force. Across the past 42 years, Amos has had its own police department that ensured order and enforced law in its territory. The town’s force has only nine people, of which six are constable, and the rest are the chief, dispatcher, and secretary. Yet, its existence continues to require increasing funds from the budget of Amos. By now, the police force’s share of the town’s annual budget has reached 30%, and then numbers continue to grow.
In order to understand the root of the budgeting issues faced by the town, the 1992 financial statement has been analyzed. When comparing total receipts between the planned and actual statements, the “Miscellaneous” category shows a serious discrepancy. In terms of expenditures, most of the categories show higher spending in comparison to the budgeting expectations. However, the expenditures on “Training and Administration” and “Safety and Prevention” are actually lower than projected figures. The highest discrepancies are in traffic control, and the chief of the department notes that overtime payments to constables during holidays are also considerable. This point is important for the time, as major holiday events are required to pass in piece for the well-being of the town, which is why it cannot be easily eliminated.
On the other hand, the proposition by the Canadian Regional Police is not expected to provide sufficient benefits of the town in terms of budgeting. With the base annual fee of $325,000 and additional $10 per citizen ($55,090 in the case of Amos), the base expenditures for year one will already amount to a minimum of $380,090 if CRP is selected. The overtime for CPR officers will also be higher ($40 against currently projected $31.5), which may prompt the city council to reduce coverage during special events. While these numbers are preliminarily in line with the planned 1993 appropriations, the government grant for maintaining a domestic police department will be lost once CPR takes the duties. In 1993, this implies a loss of over $130,000 of potential budget funds. Therefore, the economic benefits of hiring CPR instead of Amos Police Force are not evident.
Most importantly, the performance of a law enforcement unit cannot be judged exclusively in financial terms. Should the town of Amos hire CPR services, there will be no permanent headquarters in the area. While this implies that rent expenditures will be eliminated, the response time will also increase. The provided comparison of performance between Amos Police, CPR, and average nationwide police statistics shows that Amos Police Force shows excellent results in incident response and crimes solved. Local constables know the town and its community, and this connection is an important aspect that helps Amos Police meet its objective. Thus, such a replacement will negatively affect the safety of the community. In this regard, it is recommended to focus on improving the current operations in order to optimize the spending figures.
In spite of the chief’s concerns, the automobiles in Amos Police’s possession should not be replaced instantly, as they are not particularly old. However, the technical component of their work can be enhanced by new equipment. Since traffic control is currently the most serious expenditure, the town will benefit from automated traffic control using cameras installed in key roads and intersections. Instead of sending officers to patrol them, one dispatcher can monitor the situation via video equipment. The number of cruises can also be optimized, as one of them is currently in the exclusive possession of the chief. In fact, patrol constables need vehicles more than the chief does, which is why it is suggested to sell one of the cruisers and distribute the rest equally. These will be the first steps toward making incremental adjustments of the Amos Police Force budget.