Wildomar has seen fewer cops on its streets in recent years due to the city’s budget concerns, but residents can expect to see some increased police presence in coming weeks.
During a 2012-13 mid-year budget discussion at Wednesday night’s regularly scheduled city council meeting, it was announced the city has revenue increases from newly awarded agreements with waste haulers. So with a 5-0 vote to approve the mid-year budget, council members allocated $50,000 from the revenue increases to pay for added police service.
Wildomar Police Chief Shelley Kennedy-Smith confirmed she’s allocating 24 hours a week of added law enforcement services to the city through the end of the fiscal year that wraps up June 30. The hours will be utilized Thursday through Saturday each week, the days in which the department sees increased activity, the chief said.
The additional deputy hours will be put to use handling Priority One calls, traffic enforcement, and added patrol in problem areas of the city, Kennedy-Smith said. Priority One calls are those involving an immediate threat to life or property.
City Manager Gary Nordquist said he's grateful the chief agreed to augment the existing service agreement with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Like most cities in the county, Wildomar contracts for its police service through the sheriff’s department.
Nordquist also said he’s looking for money to pay for increased law enforcement services during the 2013-14 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Budget planning for the upcoming year has already started, and a public budget workshop is tentatively planned for March 20. The city is expected to post details shortly, and during Wednesday night’s meeting Nordquist stressed the importance of public input during the event. It is expected that discussion about police service will be a top priority during the workshop.
Law enforcement services are the city's biggest expenditure. Wildomar has budgeted to spend $2,503,100 for police service this year; the figure includes the $50,000 noted above.