Council concerned with staff moves in KPD budget

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Police Department’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget request represents a $500,000, or 1.9 percent, decrease from the current fiscal year, FY 2012.

KPD presented its proposed operational budget Thursday at the Kaua‘i County Council. According to the budget report, the reduction is due primarily to adjustments in salaries and benefits for vacancies in the department.

“The proposed operating budget is sufficient to fulfill the mission of this department,” the report states.

The three priority objectives for the department this coming year include two recruit classes to fill vacanct, sworn positions, to achieve three graduating classes in a Citizens’ Police Academy and to continue work on completing a three-year national accreditation process started in February.

Council Chair Jay Furfaro said there were concerns with a couple of key staff positions that deal with recruiting and investigations. KPD’s budget eliminates a records position during a time when they are recruiting to fill 24 ∆vacancies and starting an accreditation process, he added.

“There was a lot of discussion on the needs for accreditation,” Furfaro said.

The police request would move a records position to the proposed County Human Resources Department, Furfaro said. The positions also deal with evidence and he said they should perhaps be held closer to the department.

The Police Academy has graduated 26 officers in the past three years. However, recruitment and retention remains challenged with a small pool of competent candidates that will wait out a lengthy application process.

This year’s 82nd and 83rd Recruit Classes are expected to have more than 10 candidates each. Promotions of experienced officers to the investigative bureau will help to handle the increasing workload of felony cases.

The mayor’s proposed budget for Capital Improvement Projects will be heard next week. The Police Department is expected to present a design request for one of two new precinct stations.


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