The Division of Police is being budgeted at more than $12.1 million, up 4.1 percent, according to Adkins.
The Division of Fire is slated for $10.1 million, up 7.9 percent over 2017. The proposed budget includes a $937,537 federal SAFER Grant for firefighters, which represents a full year of the funding, and a $337,690 federal grant to purchase new breathing apparatuses for firefighters.
Retirements and a federal SAFER grant will enable fire operations to grow from 60 to 72 firefighters. The fire division will move three more staff to fire inspections/prevention to help enforce the city’s chronic nuisance ordinance and other fire inspections.
In 2018, the Division of Fire will also start implementing its strategic plan which is nearing completion. It will also be looking at future new station locations.
Adkins said savings could be realized through a reduction of calls for service once a new Use of Address Management Software System is implemented for police, fire and EMS.
One of the preferences made by City Council in June when it was identifying budget priorities was additional money for public safety.
The top four priority areas were road paving; housing stock and neighborhoods; additional public safety; and economic development/workforce development.
Vice Mayor Dora Bronston was one of the council members who said there should be a higher priority for public safety, noting the city’s crime and drug issues.
The rest of the city’s non-public safety General Fund budget will be presented at council’s Oct. 17 meeting. Adkins said council will receive budget legislation at its first meeting in November so it can be considered for approval before Dec. 31.
BY THE NUMBERS
$22.2 million: What Middletown plans to spend on public safety in 2018
$12.1 million: The Division of Police proposed budget for 2018
$10.1 million: The Division of Fire proposed budget for 2018
Source: City of Middletown