DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Londonderry

October 10, 2013

Londonderry police offer early budget look

LONDONDERRY — The police department hopes to continue to run a tight ship, without taking away from its high level of community service.

That, according to police Chief William Hart, is why the department spends a lot of time examining its budget every year and how every bit of money is spent.

Hart, along with Operations Commander Gerard Dussault, appeared before the Budget Committee last week to begin the process of bringing early budget information before the group.

No specific numbers were given yet, but officials did give specifics on where the money is spent and what a fiscal year 2015 wish list might include.

Hart said he is proud of how his department handles its budget. That includes making the process a collaborative effort among management, the union and other administrators.

“Frankly, I think we do an excellent job at managing the budget and by we, I mean the men and women of the department,” Hart said.

Dussault said police keep a tight grip on their numbers and review the budget on a weekly basis.

“We make sure we’re not overspending and that we’re on target,” he said.

Budgets are compared to the previous year’s numbers, Dussault said. Many factors drive what gets spent.

“For instance, this week we are $31,000 to the good over last year (in overtime), better this year,” he said. “Less people are injured and more streamlined training is also more effective.”

Dussault said he won’t be surprised if the department comes in under budget this year.

Hart said he pays very close attention to the overtime numbers.

“We worked very hard to manage the overtime,” he said. “But some things we have no control over.”

Hart said there are other areas that impact his budget, including benefits, retirement costs the town must incur and staffing levels.

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