OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Owensboro city commissioners are looking at increasing the police department’s 2021-22 budget.
Mayor Tom Watson says a lot of first responders have retired. The Owensboro Police Department is currently short by eight officers.
Watson says he believes the more police presence in the community, the better it will be to assist the fight against local drug trafficking.
He also states this ultimately benefits the community.
“That helps our general funds so we can kind of take some more of that money, hire more police officers and increase our numbers on the streets,” Mayor Watson said. “It’s a pretty complicated thing, but it all kind of works together when you’re trying to increase funding without having to raise taxes.”
Watson says additional funding for the police department could potentially help pay for overtime, surveillance and other things that are not necessarily in the normal police budget.
14 News asked Mayor Watson how much money city officials would be looking to add to the police department’s budget, and he says Police Chief Arthur Ealum will need to assess the department’s needs first before coming up with a number.