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CCPD continuing effort to cut costs

By Staff | Feb 15, 2011

The Cape Coral Police Department cut costs by $345,000 during the second half of 2010, instituting initiatives like a “virtual roll call,” eliminating certain positions and simply “doing more with less” across the board.
CCPD Spokesman Lt. Anthony Sizemore said the department has been cutting back for a number of years, having faced “tough choices” while still maintaining the same level of service.
Sizemore said the department has taken pride in being able to maintain these levels while facing the budget challenges, and will continue to look for ways to run the department efficiently.
“We’ve done more with less and we don’t want to do less with less,” Sizemore said. “We’re constantly looking forward and constantly looking back with a critical eye. There’s always going to be a fiscal responsibility moving forward.”
Highlights from the report, dated Friday, Feb. 11, include:
— The “virtual roll call,” which allows officers to check-in without having to physically be at the police station, has saved the city $153,471 in fuel costs.
— $15,264 per year was saved with completion of the Chester Street Resource Center, a facility that now provides “direct services” to residents.
— Overtime costs were reduced 43 percent during the first period of FY 2011.
— The elimination of a Victim’s Advocate position saved $55,226 annually, and utilization of funding from the Attorney General’s office equated to 75 percent of two advocate positions totaling $61,250. The CCPD also expects to receive another $105,000 in funding next FY.
— The city’s crime rate dropped 11 percent in the last 12 months.
Sizemore said even though the crime rate is lower, the department received a 2 percent increase in calls, though all calls don’t equate to criminal activity.
Sizemore added that recent criticism by a citizen over the efficiency of the city’s Victim’s Advocate Program afforded the department the opportunity to examine its use. They found it was operating efficiently, but it was a good opportunity to take a look.
“We found that it was not a duplication of our resources,” Sizemore said, adding, “The type of attitude we have, we can’t afford to step over things. We keep looking at ourselves with a critical eye, and if we need to make a change, we make it.”