Resources: Internet, University Library
Find a recent media or news article on the Internet concerning budget issues a police or other public sector agency is currently facing.Write a paper where you:
?Give a summary of the article
?Outline the type of operating budget utilized by the chosen agency
?Discuss challenges faced by leaders in the article in working through the budget issues
?Summarize how you as a criminal justice leader would work through the specified budgetary issue you outlined
Budget issues in California Police Department
Budget cuts in Sacramento in California have greatly affected the peace and stability of the state due to rise in unemployment and the subsequent increase in crime. For a long time now, the number of police officers in the city continues to decrease and they are never replaced. In the year 2011, approximately twelve million dollars was taken from the police department of the city. As a result of this the head of the department had to respond to the situation by laying off some officers and civilian workers in the stations. The narcotics, undercover squads and other crucial officers were laid off and the number of officers in other units was reduced. After a year, traffic police department was dissolved and the police stopped responding to minor crimes and concentrated on huge crimes such as sexual assault and homicide. Since 2008, Sacramento police department has had to reduce its police force by at least three hundred officers after having thirty percent of their budget cut. Despite the importance of police officers to maintain law and order and keep civilians safe, the budget allocated for the department does not match these needs. This is evidence that criminal activities have increased in the city and its environs. Since 2011, homicide cases have not changed but cases of robbery with violence, sexual assault, motor theft and burglaries have slowly increased. There has also been shooting incidents and gun violence statistics has risen by approximately forty eight percent. The number of traffic accidents has also increased in the city compared to other places in the state. Cutting the budget allocation not only reduces the police force causing unemployment but also causes a loophole for criminal activities to increase (Goode, 2012).
Outline the type of operating budget utilized by the chosen agency
A study by Brookings institution in 2011 indicated that channeling more funds towards the police department and youth programs has great cost benefit outcome on the level of crime than increasing prisons expenditure. At least forty percent of police departments in California are having their budgets cut hence they are understaffed. The funds allocated by the federal government to support the police at local level through programs such as Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) have reduced. There are several factors that are likely to have caused crime rates to increase in the state. Some of these are reduction in the funds allocated for health, services, socials services, and child welfare which definitely correlate with increase in crime rates. These changes have a also affected economic development in the area. Over the years, there has been an increase in the amount of funds that are allocated for rehabilitation and corrections. Prisons expenditure keeps on rising and as the population in the state increases, prison facilities keep on expanding to accommodate more inmates. The welfare of inmates is also prioritized in these budgets. However, money for the police departments keeps on reducing. This means that keeping tabs on ex convicts is a hard task since the resources available cannot cater for the services (Krisberg & Marchionna, 2013).
Discuss challenges faced by leaders in the article in working through the budget issues
The head of police department in the state faces a lot of challenges that hinder law enforcement at many levels. One of the steps he had to take was to reduce the number of officers in some crucial departments. Disbanding the narcotics department has a huge effect on the war against drug trafficking and use. The gang squads were disbanded and the investigations officers have reduced. The remaining police officers cannot have a huge work load that sometimes affects their efficiency. In addition to this, disbanding the traffic unit has led to increase in the number of accidents. Whenever there are special occasions like racing and parades, they have to call for volunteers. Efforts to identify those places where most accidents happen in order to find a solution have also backfired. The chief officer finds that after cutting out most of these units, the funds available are not enough and continuing to lay off more police officers only leads to more harm. There is pressure from the public to heighten security and respond to their calls fast enough after they report crime. However, the resources available can only handle serious crime. Police officers have been rotating and taking shifts in order to reduce crime rates. Another challenge that the police boss is facing is lacking enough experts to deal with some situations. When some arrests are made concerning drug possessions and trafficking, sometimes there are no available officers to search through the residents of the offenders. This means that enough investigations are not made before prosecution and eventual conviction happen.
Summarize how you as a criminal justice leader would work through the specified budgetary issue you outlined
Even though the best solution to the problem would be to increase the funds allocated for the police department, the police chief should devise ways to work around the available resources. A lot of emphasis should be put on community policing. There should be programs that bring together groups from the community to aid in the law and enforcement work. These groups should be on the lookout and ready to alert the police whenever there is crime around them. This way, security is heightened and thus residents feel safe and the criminals are prosecuted.
Goode, E. (2012). After Deep Police Cuts, Sacramento Sees Rise in Crime. Nytimes.com. Retrieved 21 July 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/us/after-deep-police-cuts-sacramento-sees-rise-in-crime.html
Krisberg, B. & Marchionna, S. (2013). www.law.berkeley.edu/ewi.htm 510-642-8568 FACT SHEET: Police, Prisons, and Public Safety in California. THE CHIEF JUSTICE EARL WARREN INSTITUTE ON LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY. Retrieved 21 July 2016, from https://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/WI_Policing_Fact_Sheet_4.13.pdf