The Denton City Council voted 5 to 1 to approve the 2017-18 City Budget which kept the full Police Department budget at the levels proposed by the City Manager's Proposed Budget. This includes the travel and training budget which had been threatened. This is excellent news for the department and its employees.
In 2008 the travel and training budget was approximately $98,000. Shortly thereafter, the budget was slashed and over the following years efforts have been made to return it to a more reasonable amount. This year it was requested that the budget be modestly raised up to $31,000 as part of the overall goal of returning it to its historical fully-funded levels. While most of the council supported this proposed amount, there were some who rejected it and attempted to have it reduced to just $21,000 in the final days of budget consideration.
During one council member's efforts to support her position that the budget should not be raised, she claimed that the 2015-16 travel and training budget of $21,000 was not completely used. She stated that as of August 15th, only $20,500 had been spent. While that fact may have been true as of that date, the reality is that more that $21,000 was ultimately spent on training during the 2015-16 budget year. Training costs in excess of the $21,000 budget came from other funds as necessary. It was also stated that during the proceeding budget year only $8500 was spent from the travel and training budget. This is also not completely factual as funds from the training budget had to be used for other projects and did not in fact go unspent. Subsequent training costs were paid out of other funds that are not normally used for training later in the budget year.
The Denton Police Officers Association applauds and supports the council members that made the decision to keep the safety of Denton citizens and visitors a top priority. They recognized that an adequately trained police department is a more professional and capable police department, and one that can provide the highest quality of service to its community. We would also like to thank all of our supporters that contacted their council members and encouraged them to keep the budget in tact.