ELBURN – Elburn’s police budget for the next fiscal year will see an increase, in part because of the addition of another full-time police officer and related expenses. The Village Board discussed the police department’s upcoming costs, among other items, at its Jan. 21 meeting.
Chief Nick Sikora estimates that the department’s operational expenses for 2020-21 will be $2 million, up from $1.7 million this year, and capital expenses for 2020-21 will be at $95,000, up from $45,000 this year.
Related expenses include the cost of medical and other benefits, pension costs, as well as additional costs for the purchase of vehicles. The cost of Sikora’s medical benefits will switch over to the Elburn department on May 1, when they will be transferred from the Oswego Police Department, where they have been for the previous four years.
One of Elburn’s officers, injured in the line of duty, will be replaced with a full-time officer in May, when payment to the officer under the Public Employee Disability Act will be completed.
Sikora made a case for the purchase of 10 hard armor plates for officers’ vests and ballistic helmets, similar to military-grade equipment and capable of stopping rifle rounds.
“We’ve found that, as much as we hate to admit it, it is becoming more and more necessary in our line of work, especially this past year with the Henry Pratt incident in Aurora,” Sikora said.
During the mass shooting at the Henry Pratt warehouse last year in which five of the shooter’s co-workers were killed, five police officers who responded to the scene were shot and wounded.
Although none of the Elburn patrol officers participated in that event, Sikora was one of the local police officers who responded and arrived at the scene while it was still active, he said.
“We need to be prepared and we need to properly outfit our officers,” he said.
Sikora said the 10 sets of equipment will get the department started in this effort, allowing for one outfit in each patrol vehicle, plus an additional one kept at the department office.
In other business discussed at the meeting, the Metra fund will need to be increased next year to cover the cost of new commuter parking pay stations, which Sikora said are obsolete to the point that they are no longer able to access the parts to fix them. The line item for commuter fare service will be increased to $46,500 for next year from $5,889 this year.
The village’s next fiscal year begins May 1.
Source: The Daily Chronicle