While the council seems to be in favor of the $827 budget amendment, there are some strings attached.
As part of thy FY2016 budget, Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams requested an $827k amendment to fund four new positions for the Wilmington Police Department, three of which were recommended by the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission.
Wilmington City Council President Theo Gregory says that the council and the administration have discussed how to fund the proposed positions and get the votes needed for the amendment to the budget.
Gregory continues to stress to the Williams Administration the need for accountability to the public and improved collaboration on implementation of the findings of the state crime commission report.
To that end, additional actions have been outlined by the council that go beyond just a budget amendment.
The council is pushing the administration to agree on issues raised in the crime commission report and include: an accountability process, by which the council will assess the WPD public safety plan and compliance with the crime commission recommendations; a process for citizens to file a complaint about the department or an officer; establishment of a Real Time Crime Center; and additional support to adopt New Jersey gun legislation.
In addition, since there are no additional city appropriations available at this time, the council has stipulated that, for the budget amendment, $400k come from the approved FY2016 police overtime appropriation of $1.9mm and the remainder of $427k is pulled out of the $2.1mm FY2016 projected budget surplus.
According to the City Council Office, dates have not been set for committee review or a final council vote.