Upper Macungie Police Chief Edgardo Colon tells township supervisors he'd like to hire two new police officers next year and that the $3.6 million police budget is significantly less than asked for originally.
Upper Macungie Police Chief Edgardo Colon is asking township supervisors to consider budgeting for two additional police officers next year.
Colon made his wishes known to supervisors Wednesday morning during a 2014 budget work session at the township meeting room.
"We should have three or four officers on every shift," Colon said. "It reduces overtime and helps keep the shifts filled."
There are currently 28 officers on the Upper Macungie Police Department roster, which began operations at the beginning of the year.
Colon asked the supervisors to budget for a 2 percent wage increase for all officers, pending the completion of the union's collective bargaining agreement with the township.
Colon said his 2014 budget, which weighs in at just more than $3.6 million, is below his original estimate of $3.9 million.
"It's a fairly conservative budget. It's significantly less than I asked for in the beginning," Colon told supervisors.
"The dark horse in all of this is the collective bargaining agreement," said Upper Macungie Supervisor chairman Edward Earley.
Colon also informed supervisors that he would like to create a promote-from-within to create a deputy police chief position.
Colon identified six major areas where there are currently budget overages: uniforms, supplies and equipment, computer software, maintenance and equipment, arms and ammunition, and the cost of vehicle maintenance.
Colon said that for safety, security and cost-effectiveness the township service the department's police vehicles.
"I'm asking for the full support of the township in keeping [maintenance of] the vehicles in-house," he said.