Police Protection Isn't Cheap
Due to early retirement, the Effingham Police Dept lost a net-effect of five officers over the course of the past 12 years.
The prevailing sentiment has been to see how well the City can get by without replacing them.
At this juncture, Police Chief Mike Schutzbach and City Administrator Jim Arndt have witnessed enough of a struggle with effective staffing of shifts… and a big enough increase in overtime expenses… that they have approached the City Council with a request to add four more officers to the police department.
At the October 20th City Council Meeting, I directly asked Chief Schutzbach if he felt the lack of appropriate police staffing level puts the citizens of Effingham in peril. He replied, “Yes.”
To add four more full-time officers to the Effingham City Police Dept would require a tax levy increase of 10.57% which would equate to a $60.70 tax increase for a homeowner with a home valued at $150,000.
Should the priority be on public safety or keeping taxes low?