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Pelham PD Budget Increases by More Than $27,000

PELHAM, N.Y. – Due to projected salary and compensation increases and the potential purchase of surveillance equipment, the Pelham Police Department 2012-13 budget is likely to increase by more than $27,000.

“The non-salary expenses are basically flat,” said Mayor Ed Hotchkiss. “The salary increases will be driven by the contract and then we’re also considering additional funds for surveillance.” Still, he said, numbers can change before the budget is finalized.

The proposed police budget stands at $3,340,807, which includes a $40,000 increase in compensation to bring the total to $75,000.  The adopted 2011-12 budget was $3,273,417.

The total salaries are expected to increase by $22,990 – up from $3,093,642 to $3,116,632 – for the department, which employs 25 police officers, three full-time parking enforcement officers, 11 part-time school crossing guards and one part-time clerk.

During the meeting Tuesday, Pelham Police Chief Joe Benefico and Lt. Rocco DelGrosso discussed the possibility of purchasing a mobile surveillance camera.

Benefico planned on meeting with other police department representatives on Wednesday to see if they used video surveillance and how useful it was in their respective areas. He said he didn’t know the exact cost of the equipment, but planned on having a figure for the board in the near future.

Benefico said that if Pelham currently owned the camera equipment, it would probably be installed in the Pelham Heights section because of recent robberies in that area.

The chief said of the equipment, “it’s not going to prevent anything because most people aren’t going to know it’s there.  But it’s going help us to hopefully solve crimes.”  Currently, when investigating crimes, Pelham Police use surveillance from nearby equipped stores and businesses.

Trustee-elect Adam Kagan asked Benefico if he still would have pushed to have the camera installed last year before the robberies occurred and the chief said, “Yea, because we’re actually looking to put one up anyway right now.”

The total proposed Pelham budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year shows a 3.035 percent increase from the 2011-12 adopted spending plan that totals $12,855,122.

The mayor and board of trustees will hold a budget summary review on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Pelham Village Hall. The tentative budget will be posted Thursday on the village website, which is legally required by New York State because it must be made available to the public at least five days before the public hearing, scheduled for Tuesday.

The board plans on adopting the budget on April 24, which would give them time to adopt it on or before May 1, as required by state law.

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