To The Daily Sun,
In New Hampshire, police departments seek emergency assistance of another police department having memorandum of understanding/reciprocity agreements (MOU), including sheriff departments. The Legislature has provided legislation to address reimbursement for on-duty out-of-pocket expenses, salaries and loss or damaged equipment.
However, an anticipated, taxpayer-funded, appropriation necessary to cover cost of law enforcement personnel working on other than official business also requires a line item appropriation. Most, if not all, New Hampshire municipalities have such off-duty private pay line item appropriations. Accordingly, a comparable off-setting revenue line item for reimbursement is necessary to maintain a balanced budget.
In the FY2016, Belknap County Convention Annual Budget, the Sheriff Department budget includes a $55,000 line item for outside detail expenses incurred to finance request by local police departments for non-emergency request, to wit, the requesting municipality will reimburse the county for hours worked at the loaded cost of employment of the average deputy sheriff's rate.
What is problematic is that private pay off-duty is not an emergency and the county budget does not have such a line item.
It is unknown how the Gilford Police Department is reimbursed for work at the Bank NH Pavilion. At some point, in the past, the off-duty was a "private pay" and those Gilford employees were paid by tax dollars and it took years before the town was reimbursed.
Believing that work at the Bank NH Pavilion is private pay, exactly what portion of the $55,000 of county tax dollars were encumbered for emergency, non-emergency or for private work on or off-duty from Jan. 1 to July 31?
The $10,000 request to transfer clearly is admittedly off-duty private pay for police coverage at Gilford's Bank NH Pavilion. What is the line item in the Sheriff's Department budget for off-duty private pay work?
Is private pay being circumvented? Has, Gilford Police Department made a non-emergency request for on-duty and off-duty deputy sheriffs (union employees) to supplement the off-duty Gilford police officer who provide police coverage at Gilford's Bank NH Pavilion. The private business at some point will reimburse the Gilford taxpayers for the use of its tax dollars (a 7-day or 30-day billing). Accordingly, Gilford will reimburse the county taxpayers for the use of county taxpayer dollars. Is the loaded cost of employment $40 an hour? Is the $40 based on a union hourly rate? At $55 how much will the profit be. Why should taxpayer finance private pay off-duty employment, hoping the reimbursement will be timely deposited?
Thomas A. Tardif
- Category: Letters
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