Tonight's Police Budget Proposal made one thing clear, the Chief believes they need more resources. Chief Steve Lamken's proposes ten additional officers, five community service officers and three support staff over the next four years. That would call for about $770,000 more next year and about $1.3 million by 2015. Most of the City Council agreed this kind of safety in the city was significant.
City Council officials questioned the interest in new positions if they were to become available, but Lamken confirmed that if the positions opened up there would be plenty of interest. Lamken says the proposal was created based on some things that he thought a previous IMCA study lacked, but resources are the main requirement..
Chief Lamken says, "It does call for new resources. It calls for a seat change in policing in the police department where we would move to implement strategic oriented policing or strategic policing if we had the resources."
City Council member Bob Niemann adds, "The Grand Island Police force does a real good job for what they have, but they need more. We've got some issues here in Grand Island. The only way we're going to control them is to put officers on patrol."
Councilman Niemann also says, if approved, the city does not plan to hire new law enforcement immediately, but with the new budget and revenue plans, this is their priority for law enforcement in the near future. Lamken emphasized that he did not believe this budget proposal would end the problem the city is having with crime, but he thinks it would certainly be a step in the right direction.