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2015 Gainesville police budget likely on par with 2014

POSTED: March 28, 2014 12:19 a.m.

The Gainesville Police Department has a current budget of about $8.6 million, and Chief Brian Kelly said he expected funding to be similar in the 2015 fiscal year.

City Council continued its series of departmental presentations Thursday as officials work through funding requests in preparation for the fiscal year 2015 budget.

City Manager Kip Padgett said he has asked all departments to keep their budget requests flat as he expects this year’s general fund budget of more than $29 million to increase only slightly next year. Public safety agencies in the city account for more than 50 percent of the general fund budget.

Kelly said he hoped to use funds next year to purchase new vehicles and upgrade video recording systems in patrol cars.

The police department anticipates focusing its efforts next year on reducing traffic accidents and property crime.

Traffic crashes are up 12.7 percent so far this fiscal year, Kelly said, while resulting injuries have declined 7.6 percent.

But Kelly added it’s important for the police department to work with traffic engineers to determine what improvements are viable and necessary to remedy the rise in accidents.

Kelly said it would be important for the department to use social media to educate the public about traffic safety precautions and inform them of areas and intersections where accidents most often occur.

The police department is working toward improving the efficiency of its criminal and traffic reporting services.

Implementing the new records management software will continue into the next fiscal year and comprises a part of the department’s plans to put computers in all patrol units.

Kelly said this will allow officers to search records on scene and streamline the issuance of citations and incident reports.


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