The Jefferson City Police Department has presented more than $10 million worth of needs, but the city's Budget Committee advanced only six of 13 requested replacement police vehicles for about $243,780.
The committee voted Thursday to fund the vehicles from the police renovations and upgrades funds in the Capital Improvement Sales Tax G fund.
Police Chief Roger Schroeder expressed resolve regarding the committee's decision, saying the list of needs — a total of $10,080,447 — was created by many members of the Police Department.
The projects, he said, could be funded by the department's portion of Sales Tax G, approximately $1.4 million. The department has until Fiscal Year 2022 to use the funds.
"Sales Tax G is about our only resource except for grants that we can rely upon to purchase things on an ongoing basis," Schroeder said.
The list, in non-priority order, included 42 projects in categories for police field operation equipment, communications, building renovations and upgrades, information system improvements and emergency sirens system.
One project included a $7.7 million level addition to the police headquarters.
The 40-year-old building is currently tight on space, Schroeder said. Many of the employees are without lockers, which creates a safety risk for officers during their commute to work. Offices also need to be restructured, he added.
"We just keep growing," Schroeder said. "The building was built 40 years ago. I'm sure we've grown by 75 percent, off the top of my head."
Other projects included $12,000 for K9 replacement, $400,000 for radios and $200,000 for 911 center upgrades.
If the department spent the $1.4 million of Sales Tax G funds on projects, the department would need nearly $8.7 million to complete projects, Schroeder said. If the department used the $1.4 million of Sales Tax G funds to address needs, excluding the building renovations, the department would need $959,000 to complete projects.
"I just wanted the council to be aware of how important Sales Tax G is to us," Schroeder said. "With respect, there are a lot of needs in all divisions. My concern was, although we very much appreciate the cars, it goes beyond cars. That's the point of that list."
Ward 4 Councilman Carlos Graham said the department should take a look at the current Cole County 911 agreement.
The city is reimbursed $25,000, or 25 percent, of the total operating costs. City Administrator Steve Crowell said the agreement was made about 18 years ago.
A new agreement could help with actual costs and cover potential projects, Graham said.
"The reason why I'm going there is we need to do upgrades to our 911 center," Graham said. "Since we're taking all of the calls, I think that shouldn't be solely paid by Sales Tax G. I think we should have a serious conversation."
Since the contract has been in place a while, Schroeder agreed. He added the changing times, technology and needs could warrant a future conversation.