Midvale grapples with police cost
Jun 11, 2020 12:19PM
By Erin Dixon
By Erin Dixon | [email protected]
“In the past three years, our public safety costs have increased over $888,000,” said Kyle Maurer, administrative services director for Midvale City.
Unified Police Department (UPD) is asking for an additional $264,000 this coming fiscal year (FY July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021).
Midvale City Manager Kane Loader, was hesitant to do so, even if there was a dollar savings.
“Our own police force could handle the day-to-day operations and take care of the city. The big question is could we handle the other situations that come up.
“It just so happened that two of those situations happened on the same day almost at the same time last [month]. A murder/suicide in Candlestick apartments and a fire on Allen Street. That demonstrated the resources that those kinds of things take,” Loader said.
Midvale Police Chief Randy Thomas gave details of how many people were needed to handle those two incidents simultaneously, highlighting the difficulty Midvale would have in keeping up when needs are compounded.
“In totality we had over 71 personnel involved between [the murder/suicide] as well as the fire that happened almost simultaneously while we were dealing with shots being fired,” Thomas said.
Initially, UPD was asking for a larger increase this year but was able to trim it down.
Mayor Robert Hale was pleased with the reduction. “I think UPD has done a great job, whittling here, whittling there until it's where we can deal with it.”
Thomas said that there had been some overestimation of Midvale’s need from UPD.
“I know that before in the cost for benefit and overtime. They used to do 20% above but the reality was 10%. It’s basically straightening out some accounting that was probably less than optimal back in the day and it actually might adjust more in the future,” Thomas said.
For more information about how Midvale is handling its relationship with UPD, check out midvalejournal.com.