On Sept. 11, the Arroyo Grande City Council approved a memorandum by Police Chief Steve Annibali to reorganize some of his staff’s duties.
Annibali began scrutinizing the department’s workforce and finances in June when the city’s 2012-13 updated financial report recommended changes be made to the department in an effort to help balance the city’s budget.
The report recommended keeping a full-time sergeant position vacant, which would free up $169,000 a year. Annibali, after conducting a needs assessment, came up with amendments to the city’s proposed budget cuts.
City council members approved Annibali’s request to use nearly $18,000 of the recently unallocated $169,000 to help fund part-time training and equipment technicians and a civilian investigator, resulting in a net savings of roughly $150,000.
The memorandum also called for the implementation of a full-time neighborhood services technician—essentially a code enforcement officer, according to Annibali—whom the chief expects will generate the department approximately $5,000 a year.
“It was great in the old days, when you had a cop do specific tasks, but we can’t afford to do that anymore,” Annibali told New Times. “Using part-timers is a smart way of taking care of the needs of the community.”
City Manager Steve Adams, however, told New Times the police department is only one part of Arroyo Grande’s budget struggles: “In general, it’s part of a number of overall efforts by the city to try to restructure our existing resources to meet the needs of the community.”