BOWIE— The city police department presented its five-year plan to the mayor and council Monday evening, stressing the need for more money as the department grows. City Police Chief John Nesky outlined the areas of need for the department, including staffing and services, organizational structure, equipment and technology. When composing the plan, Nesky said the most […]
BOWIE— The city police department presented its five-year plan to the mayor and council Monday evening, stressing the need for more money as the department grows.
City Police Chief John Nesky outlined the areas of need for the department, including staffing and services, organizational structure, equipment and technology.
When composing the plan, Nesky said the most important element to consider is the community needs. “We can have grand plans and ideas about what we think we should have,” Nesky said. “It doesn’t matter what we want if it’s not what the community needs at the moment.”
Nesky said the plan was broken down into yearly increments so the city can determine if proposed actions are affordable
“There’s a combination here. What the citizens need, what keeps the officers safe and what we can afford,” Nesky said. “It’s not an all or nothing proposition. It’s based upon what is fiscally sound.”
City Manager David Deutsch said that the plan is a reviewing document that will be used as a template. The plan expires in June of fiscal year 2019.
After the five year plan is over, the department’s budget will exceed $10 million, according to Deutsch.
“We’re probably looking over the next five years at the department going over the $10 million budget mark,” Deutsch said. “We’re at $8.1 or $8.2 million now.”
Deutsch said those figures will become more concrete as time goes by. “We will begin to refine that better as the details become more known,” Deutsch said.
The plan proposes an additional 12 officers in the city’s police force. There will be a captain position and lieutenant position created. The sergeant position will be re-tasked to the training sergeant position.
Nesky said the department has to staff smartly and efficiently, or else they will not be effective.
“We have to be able to examine it from different levels and different directions,” Nesky said. “Staffing isn’t about numbers all the time. It’s about the proper and efficient use of your resources.”
Nesky said the department is looking to increase the patrol strength of four of the six squads. He said the squads should be increased by one officer each to provide better overall coverage. The department is exploring several shift plans to maximize coverage throughout the city.
Additional school resource officers are also proposed in the plan. Nesky said there will be an extra school resource officer added at Bowie High School. The plan also proposes two roving middle school resource officers and one roving elementary school officer.
Adding more school resource officers, Nesky said, will help the department develop relationships with Bowie’s youth.
Nesky said he wants to improve the efficiency of the department’s call center. He wants to add 10 call takers by fiscal year 2015 and get the department accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
CALEA accreditation is important, Nesky said, because it is a professional standard for the department. “It means that all of your general orders have been vetted,” Nesky said. “They’ve all been proven to be legally sound. It reduces your liability. It’s a way for transparency. It’s a way for you to say, ‘We have a professional department and we’ve been certified by an outside agency for being a professional department.’”
Bowie Mayor Frederick Robinson, had positive things to say about the presentation and the plan. “This is an incredibly helpful document,” Robinson said. “It’s an incredible assessment of current conditions and reasonable forecasting.”
“It shows your continuous commitment towards our long range goal of a full service, 24-hour, outstanding, top of the line organization,” Robinson said. “Today, you’ve done an incredible job of doing that.”