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Millcreek Journal

Millcreek’s Officer of the Month program and budget for next year

May 30, 2022 04:28PM ● By Bridget Raymundo

By Bridget Raymundo | [email protected]

During the pandemic, a new surge of unrest arose in the name of anti-police brutality which prompted people to take another look at the services provided by their respective police departments. In the January issue of the City Journal of Millcreek government, the Unified Police Department Millcreek Precinct Report was analyzed and presented for the year. The services under the UPD were also shown along with alternatives to prevent unnecessary police involvement.

Being an officer of the UPD can be a position attached to a variety of responsibilities. The Millcreek UPD is a subject of focus in the April 25 work meeting as they start the Unified Police Department Funding Discussion. The council meeting on the 25th also announces an officer of the month of March.

The Millcreek United Police Department has been regularly honoring police on a monthly basis. At the city council meetings, the Unified Police Department Millcreek Precinct Officer of the Month is announced and given a reward.

Officer of the Month of February was Detective Danny Diehl who received the award for locating a key witness from video footage on an S-line platform by noting her hat. The witness gave information on suspects which led the detective to find and return the stolen bicycles to Hyland Cyclery and charge four suspects with numerous felonies.

Other Officer of the Month awards are January, Officer Preston Allred and March, Jacob Warner.

The recognition given to these officers is an honor to the work of the department. With the tentative 2022-23 Millcreek General Fund Revenue Budget in the process of revision to appropriately distribute $31,693,142, the question is how much of the funds will be going toward the department.

“Based on further reflection…We can prepare this tentative budget with as small of a property tax increase… [of] just under 5% and pay for the remainder of the contract costs for Unified Police through a contribution from our general funds of 500,000 dollars. So we are splitting the difference,” said Mayor Jeff Silvestrini. The change and the revenues associated with the increased property tax can be seen on the table presented in UPD 03.

The mayor says many possibilities were discussed to pay for a substantial increase in the 12 months of UPD contract from a large property tax increase, a spread out cost paid for over a longer time span, augmenting it with other funds from the general funds, or implementing a new tax which most other cities in the region have initiated called the telecommunications and energy franchise tax.

“We are trying to soften the impact of this [new property tax] upon Millcreek residents that I know don’t want any tax increase but they also love their police services. That [the new property tax] is subject to the council changing it,” Silvestrini said.

The mayor mentioned the costs of future property taxes will have to rise to meet the cost of the UPD contract since the taxes issued for the upcoming fiscal year are as low as possible to help accommodate the negative impacts of the pandemic and increased cost of living over time.

2022-23 is promising a well-funded police department with every month bringing a new member to highlight.