by BECKY GOFF
Little Apple Post
Following weeks of discussion, the Riley County Law Board has approved the budget for the Riley County Police Department for 2023.
The approved budget totals $25.0 million, which is an 8.37% increase over the 2022 budget.
The budget increase includes:
-5.1% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for employee salaries
-The first half of salary survey implementation
A comprehensive salary survey by the Arnold Group, has determined that RCPD has lost it's pull in the local job market.
With the more than 20 job vacancies within RCPD each month, recruiting and retention of employees has become a serious concern for the department.
“Implementation of the salary survey represents an investment into the public safety of Riley County for years to come,” RCPD Interim Director, Kurt Moldrup said. “We want to compensate our employees fairly for the hard work they perform to make Manhattan and Riley County a great place to live.”
Community-focused improvements and training programs were removed from budget considerations in order to address the need for cost of living adjustments and for the department to return as a competitor in the job market.
Approximately 85% of the RCPD budget is spent on personnel, to maintain authorized personnel levels, while remaining consistent with public safety.
Riley County Police Department currently has 1.49 officers per 1,000 residents in the county. This number is lower than both the state (3.74) and national (2.4) ratio.
Even with the lower officer-to-resident ratio, Riley County continues to see lower crime rates than the state average for the last 18 years.
RCPD's percentage of the City and County's overall budget is comparable or lower than similar sized agencies in the region, according to recent inquiries and past research.
“RCPD’s only source of funding, by statute, is property taxes and we understand the pressure on our local leaders to contain tax elevations,” Moldrup said. “We also recognize the level of services our local taxpayers have come to expect and deserve from RCPD. Manhattan and Riley County continue to attract businesses and residents because it is a safe place to live as shown by their below-average crime rates. We will continue to provide professional, effective, and efficient services to the taxpayers who live here.”
You can find the agenda and meeting documentation here.
If you missed the meeting, you can watch the replay here.