When the Columbia City Council approves its 2012 spending plan next week, the Police Department will have a $30 million budget for the first time in its history.
The Police Department got $850,000 more than last year, the single-largest budget increase of any city department. It will pay for a captain and lieutenant for a new patrol region in the Northeast, a professional standards division with three employees, two gang investigators and a chemist.
Scott originally requested an extra $3 million that would have paid for 16 police officers in the new Northeast patrol region, four gang investigators and an armored car. When his request was trimmed to $850,000, Scott said he used the money “on things that were baffling,” like how the department had only one gang investigator.
“We know Columbia has a gang problem. That’s no secret now,” he said.
Mayor Steve Benjamin is chalking up the police budget as a fulfilled campaign promise.