Delmar Council discusses adding a new police officer
By Mike McClure
The Delmar Joint Council passed the FY '13 budget during last Tuesday's meeting, but at issue was whether the Delmar Council (Del.) would be able to fund 40 percent of the cost of a new officer in FY '14.
The Delmar Commission agreed to pay the 60 percent share for the officer, who has agreed to pay his own way in the Maryland police academy. The town would then have to hire the officer and pay for the cost of training in Delaware. The Delmar Council agreed to pay for the officer through July 1 (which marks the end of FY '13).
Delmar (Del.) Mayor Michael Houlihan said the Delmar (Del.) Council couldn't afford to make a commitment to fund an officer. The Council has already agreed to pay its share of the cost of another officer which is coming off a three year grant. "I think that the need to protect the citizens is first and foremost," said Commissioner Michael Gibb.
Councilman Robert Thompson questioned whether the Delaware town would have the necessary funds going into the next fiscal year. "I know what I make a year and a I don't spend more than what I make," Thompson said.
"It's not that we don't want it. If it's not there how can you promise something you don't have?," added Councilwoman Mary Lee Pase.
Police Chief Hal Saylor said he will look to fund the Delaware share through other sources such as grants or drug forfeitures. If the money can not be raised then the officer will be let go. Saylor said the additional officer would allow the department to address an area of concern as it arises.
Commissioner Stephanie Ring said she had a problem with hiring an officer on a contingency plan then letting the officer go after six months.
The Commission voted, 5-0, to approve the FY '13 budget while the Council approved it by a vote of 4-0 (Councilman Woody Payne was absent). The total cost of the budget (Maryland- $2,960,371, Delaware- $1,953,870, and Utility Commission- $2,200,940) is $7,115,181.
The Delmar Revitalization Committee is in the process of planning Heritage/Delmar Pride Day which will take place Sept. 22. Among the activities being discussed are: the celebration of the New Century Club's 150 years of service, the nursing home will sponsor a kids zone, a veterans parade, and a Delmar Dash 5K run/2K walk fundraiser at Wood Creek. Wildcat pride day will also take place at Delmar Middle/Senior High that day.
The next Delmar Joint Council meeting will take place Monday, June 18 at 7 p.m. at town hall.
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