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October 2, 2022

9/23/2022 12:00:00 PM
LAPD gets contract, levy up seven percent

The cities of Lindstrom and Chisago City are sharpening their pencils to work a 7.4 percent Lakes Area Police Department budget increase into property tax levies, while also tackling  non public-safety needs.  The budget for the law enforcement agency shows costs shared 50-50 by the two cities are proposed to go up in each by $67,751.
Lakes Area Police Commissioners voted  3-0 September 14 to adopt the draft 2023 budget, pending a couple of very minor language revisions being finalized in the two-year union contract.  There are four commissioners— member Bob Gustafson was tardy due to a job commitment for the levy vote, but supported the LELS 2023 to 2025 contract in a 4-0 vote, later when he arrived.

Some of the highlights behind this budget hike include— patrol motor fuels were increased from about $21,000 a couple years ago to $40,000. 

Administrative vehicle fuels doubled from $2,400 to $5,000.  Individuals have a clothing allowance annually now of $800, so the department line item for clothing and accessories in total has gone from $7,000 to $11,000 for 2023.  Insurance for vehicles is budgeted at about $2,000 every month.  

Due to a change in the School Resource Officers’ funding formula— shared between the department and school district— Lindstrom and Chisago City also will cover an extra month’s worth of pay in 2023 for the two SRO personnel.

Health insurance expenses lacked a line item breakdown but the department covers 70 percent of family premiums and 100 percent for individuals, and there is an estimated hike in this expense.

There also is a new holiday recognition okayed by the Commission, for Juneteenth (June 19), which goes into effect upon the State of Minnesota also adopting the holiday. This would bring annual official holiday/paid vacation to 14 days.

Incoming new officers start at $30 per hour and at five years, a current officer is at $36.49 hourly.  The contract raises wages at two and three percent starting with three percent in 2023, two percent in 2024 and so on.  

A sergeant gets $41.45 to start.  Investigators receive an extra $400 monthly and their regular wage, School Resource Officers get $200 additional  monthly and a DARE Coordinator $250 additional monthly.

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