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Budget Proposal Nixes Three New Police Officers

Stoneham Town Hall. Credit: Patch file photo.
Stoneham Town Hall. Credit: Patch file photo.

Although the Stoneham Police Department’s budget request included three new police officers, the town’s working budget for next year has dumped the positions.

The original police budget request was $3,559,616 for personnel and operating expenses, which included the three new positions. Town Administrator David Ragucci opted to cut that figure by just over $200,000, and not hiring the three new officers requested.

The recommendation was presented to the Board of Selectmen last month.

In addition to the police request, Ragucci also recommended cutting:

  • An administrative assistant at the Council on Aging (about $19,000);
  • The new book acquisition budget at the public library ($15,000);
  • The School Department ($545,000 out of the total $24.9 million budget).

The town also has a reduction of $117,000 in debt service that was expected in the fiscal 2015 budget because the Stoneham Fire Department was unable to buy a needed fire engine. The department could not fit the new engine in the station. SFD is looking into refurbishing a Wakefield Fire apparatus in the future to meet the department’s needs.

The Stoneham fiscal 2015 budget is currently $68.8 million. Ragucci cut the departmental budget requests by almost $1 million.
mark patterson February 21, 2014 at 12:00 PM
Jennifer, when the cost of training new officers, and the cost of employee benefits are added to that officer's salary, it sometimes makes more sense fiscally to pay overtime.
Luigi Baccala February 21, 2014 at 02:27 PM
WE SHOULD BE POURING MONEY INTO THE SCHOOLS. WAKE UP STONEHAM. QUALITY OF SCHOOL SYSTEM WILL MAKE OR BREAK THE FUTURE OF THIS TOWN.
Jenna Boccelli February 21, 2014 at 05:37 PM
In regard to the school department, we are one of the only towns around that do not offer free full day kindergarten. Sounds like even though it was included in the school budget, it will be on the chopping block yet again.
Paula B Sarno February 21, 2014 at 10:57 PM
This only shows more reason to secure a grant writer for the town. Our late Officer Cullen was the Dare Officer at the Schools and received some of his funding from a Dare Grant. There have been grants in the past to assist the police dept such at the Copsmore grant. We need a professional with expertise and contacts to secure moneys readily available from the Commonwealth and Federal Government to provide funding for police and the schools.
Paula B Sarno February 22, 2014 at 01:29 AM
Speaking on grants available i just browsed the internet and in a few minutes found the following Grant sites for police and schools. Note that the town of Reading Police Dept. received a grant regarding alcohol prevention for their youth. See: http://www.policegrantshelp.com/ http://www.americanpsa.org/?page_id=11 http://www.justice.gov/business/ http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Default.asp?Item=46 http://www.successforall.org/Funding-Opportunities http://www.ed.gov/category/program/school-improvement-grants

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