As the UpCounty communities of Clarksburg and Germantown continue to grow the level of staffing at the District Five – Germantown Headquarters must keep pace. Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett’s proposed Fiscal Year 2017 Operating Budget addresses that very issue.
The budget includes increasing expenditures in the Montgomery County Police Department’s budget for six additional patrol officers to be used in the “Mary Sector” which includes Clarksburg and the northern areas of Germantown.
In his letter to County Council President Nancy Floreen regarding the Recommended Operating Budget for FY2017, Leggett wrote, “All the men and women who work for MCPD deserve our appreciation and respect. They have worked harder, smarter and more creatively to protect the lives and property of the residents of Montgomery County – and these numbers are proof of their dedication and success. I am continuing the focus on public safety by adding additional police officers in the Clarksburg/Germantown area to address the demands of a growing population.”
According to the MCPD spokesperson Rebecca Innocenti, the six officers are slated to join the police academy in January of 2017, which means the officers would begin patrolling in the late summer or early fall of 2017.
5th District – Germantown Commander, Capt. David Gillespie said he was happy to hear of the inclusion of the additional officers in the operating budget. “They are going to be deployed in the Clarksburg area mostly because we have additional growth with the population and the outlet mall coming this fall,” said Gillespie. “We want to maintain our response time to the Clarksburg area and make sure we have adequate staffing in the community.”
The total recommended FY17 Operating Budget for the Department of Police is $265,934,884, a decrease of $4,848,080 or 1.8 percent from the FY16 Approved Budget of $270,782,964, according to County budget documents. The primary driver of the decrease is the reduced required contribution into retirement plans as a result of revised actuarial assumptions and changes to the amortization period based on the County's five-year experience study. The additional staffing of six officers for the 5th District is budgeted for an increase of $432,233 in the proposed FY17 operating budget.
Personnel costs comprise 84 percent of the total MCPD budget for 1,823 full-time positions and 186 part-time positions. Police department operating expenses account for the remaining 16 percent of the FY17 department budget.
The FY17 budget also calls for the hiring of additional crossing guards for the areas around the new Clarksburg/Damascus Middle School, which will add $48,796 to the budget.
The County will also spend $215,867 on ballistic vests and body worn cameras for police officers throughout the County. MCPD began rolling out the body worn cameras this year and will expand the program next year. The budget also includes $150,000 for data management of the body worn camera program.
Editor Note: This article was update at 2:30 pm to include the most acurate information about when the new officers would join the police academy and when they might begin patrolling.
File Photo by Germantown Pulse.