City Residents Advocate For More Police Budget Funding – Jamestown Post Journal

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Nov 20, 2021
Far left, Anthony Dolce, Jamestown City Council president and Ward 2 councilman, speaking during the public hearing on the proposed 2022 budget. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
Some residents of the city of Jamestown would like to see an increase in funding to the Jamestown Police Department.
On Friday, the Jamestown City Council hosted a public hearing on the proposed 2022 budget, with three people speaking in favor of more funding for equipment and vehicles for the police department.
Tamara Dickey, a city resident and former Ward 3 councilwoman, said there have been a lot of issues lately with crime on her street where she lives with her family. She said city officials should be providing the necessary resources to the police department so they can do their job successfully.
“We have to give the police department the resources they need,” she said.
Lt. Sam Piazza, Kendall Club Police Benevolent Association Executive Board president, said Jamestown Police Department Chief Tim Jackson has discussed the equipment and vehicle needs with the council during budget deliberations the past two months. Piazza said Jackson requested five new vehicles, with only one being funded through American Rescue Plan funding in the proposed budget. Piazza said other request by the chief to renovate the indoor shooting range, Glock gun trade-ins, virtual reality training and trauma kits were not included in the proposed spending plan. He said the department needs to be provided with this equipment so they can do their jobs effectively.
The only other request Jackson made that was in the budget is to purchase new portable radios for $144,321, which will be funded through American Rescue Plan funding.
“Without the American Rescue Plan funds, were we not going to fund the police department?” Piazza asked.
Doug Champ, city resident, also discussed the lack of funding for the police department.
“If I haven’t seen a budget that defunds the police, this budget does,” he said.
Following the public speaking portion of the hearing, Kimberly Ecklund, At-Large councilwoman and Finance Committee chairwoman, said just because funding isn’t in the general operating fund for police equipment and vehicles doesn’t mean the council is ignoring the issue. She said there will be amendments made before the council votes on a final budget during its meeting Monday, Nov. 29.
Anthony Dolce, council president and Ward 2 councilman, said the council is going to first deal with the city’s 2022 operating budget and then they will handle how to spend the American Rescue Plan funding, which could be used for new equipment and vehicles for the police department.
On Oct. 7, Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist released his preliminary 2022 spending plan, which includes a .8% tax levy increase – a $130,000 hike. According to the state Department of Taxation and Finances, the tax levy is the amount raised through property taxes.
The tax rate proposed by the mayor will remain at $23.69 per $1,000 assessed property value. According to the state Department of Taxation and Finances, the tax rate is determined by dividing the tax levy by the total taxable assessed value of all property in a jurisdiction.
The council has a Dec. 1 deadline to pass a spending plan or the executive budget will be the blueprint city officials use next year.
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