Memo for fiscal year 2017, updated 2016-04-18

[Archived] Would an additional $50,000 of overtime (beyond what is already proposed) also be fully offset by ticket revenue? What is the break-even point?

In addition to the $50,000 budgeted in the Police Department, the FY 2017 Proposed Budget includes $500,000 in contingent reserves for forthcoming traffic enforcement and parking adjudication initiatives. Since refinement after the FY 2017 budget was proposed, staff believes the most effective strategy for using those funds to enhance traffic enforcement is the addition of two Motors Officers and one Supervisor position at a cost of $285,000, as overtime is elective in nature and therefore more difficult to supply consistently on an ongoing basis. However, the positions cannot be filled, fully trained, and deployed until the spring of 2017. A parking adjudication proposal also in development is expected to cost approximately $100,000, leaving $115,000. As indicated in the public safety work session, staff recommends adding those funds to the $50,000 in the Police budget for a total of $165,000 in additional one-time overtime funding for enforcement until the new positions are fully operational. The overtime enforcement period prior to the additional staffing allows the Police Department to tailor their practices based on the effectiveness of initial efforts.

Staff has not calculated the revenue/expenditure break-even point for overtime or additional staff positions because the intent of traffic enforcement is to promote safety and legal compliance rather than generate revenues. Successful enforcement should reduce ticket revenue over time by decreasing violations, and enforcement can mean activities other than writing tickets, such as outreach and education. Therefore, the cost recovery model applied to some other fee-based City services is not applied to traffic enforcement. However, staff recognizes additional overtime and personnel should generate some revenue increase, and so the proposed budget included a 4.0% increase in ticket revenues, although that estimate is not directly tied to any assumption of the number of tickets to be written or revenues to be produced per officer and is a significantly lower percentage than the increase in staffing. 

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