At a Planning Session of the San Leandro City Council on January 26, 2013, San Leandro Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli announced that the funds from a federal grant for five additional police officers will run out almost a year sooner than expected. The City of San Leandro had already planned on an additional $900,000 to pay for the officers when the grant expired, but now faces a similar additional cost before the grant expires.
The City was awarded the $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program in 2010. The grant was intended to fund five police officers for three years with the City obligated to pay for the additional officers for a minimum of one year.
Chief Spagnoli explained to the City Council, “The grant expires in 2015 which the city is obligated to keep it for one year and pay and fund it. So between 2014 and 2015 is the City's obligation. We are given a set amount for the grant and we will have gone through the funding of the set amount actually in about probably a year prior to that so the City will actually have to carry the grant for either about 18 months to two years rather than the one year....we believe that at the end of this year we would have depleted the majority of the funds. It might take us into January a little bit, but the way the COPS grant works, it funds the bottom step police officers and in all the assignments specific to that grant, we have top step police officers, so that's the difference.”
The original grant application accounts for increasing officer costs with the cost of the positions in the first year at $151,550 per officer ($78,075 in salary plus $73,475 in benefits), second year at $161,399 per officer ($82,782 in salary plus $78,617 in benefits) and the third year at $170,486 per officer ($86,938 in salary plus $83,548 in benefits).
The City Council did not ask for further clarification from Chief Spagnoli.
At a City Council work session two days later, Chief Spagnoli indicated that San Leandro would apply for grants to extend or renew the existing COPs grant for five police officers, hire 10 additional officers for regional collaboration, and hire eight additional school resource officers. City lobbyist Len Simon said that the additional school resource officers were most likely to be funded in the aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at February 3, 2013 11:02 PM | TrackBack