JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Jeffersonville's City Council president said he expected members to delay a vote on Mayor Mike Moore's plan to hire new police officers.
Moore, who is concerned that the city's police force is understaffed, has proposed adding 25 officers over the next five years to patrol throughout the city. Recently, he and council members have paid for new surveillance cameras and a temporary contract with off-duty officers to provide security.
Council President Dennis Julius conceded that the city should add some officers, but said Moore's plan wasn't comprehensive because it only relied only on hiring and not new technology.
"A true leader tells you what they need, but they also have a plan to get there," Julius said. "That's part of our problem."
Julius said he expects the council will table the measure at a meeting on Monday because a majority of members want more time to consider it.
Moore said delaying a vote on the proposal would be a mistake.
"The time to think about it has passed," he said. "I'm going to be really troubled if we go in Monday night and make a formal presentation and they want to table it. "
Moore said Jeffersonville Police has 73 sworn police officers. State and FBI standards suggest the city, with a population of 47,000, should have 94 officers.
Julius and Moore disagreed on the cost of each new officer's salary and benefits, with Moore expecting the city would spend $90,000 for each new hire and Julius suggesting the number was around $121,000.
The two also sparred over whether the city had the funding to pay for additional hiring. Moore said Jeffersonville is sitting on a $9 million surplus.
"This will not cause any tax increase," he said. "It's nice to have the surplus, but if there's one thing people want in their city, it's to feel safe."
Julius suggested the surplus was much smaller, as the city pays its bills and unexpected expenses, such as a new fire truck.
The new officers would patrol the entire city, not just downtown, where Jeffersonville officials concentrated their attention as the Indiana ramp to the Big Four Bridge opened last month.
Moore said he wasn't aware of the surveillance cameras solving any crimes, but said he was confident their presence had deterred some criminals.
Louisville also added surveillance cameras on Waterfront Park and spent $600,000 in overtime costs to patrol downtown after mob violence March 22.
"I think some of this is a knee-jerk reaction to what's happening in Louisville." Julius said. "They say it's not, but it's awful coincidental."
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