Lansing Police savings hinge on union

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Lansing’s Police Department budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 would save $700,000 if the Fraternal Order of Police signs the new health care plan according to LPD officials and their finance experts.

LPD, led by retiring police chief Teresa Szymanski, presented their budget at Lansing’s City Council meeting on April 15. The meeting revolved mostly around health care concessions and the savings that the new plan would bring to the police budget. Lansing’s city budget proposes that 32 percent or about $36 million be dedicated to the police department.

Lansing's Police Department presented their budget to the city council on April 15

Lansing’s Police Department presented their budget to the city council on April 15

The team that represented Lansing’s Police Department said that the new health care plan would save $700,000 if the Fraternal Order of Police signed it.

Jody Washington, 1st Ward Councilmember constantly asked the LPD side about, “a plan B,” in case the FOP does not agree with the new health care plan. Other city council members expressed their concern that the budget is based on predictions on the health care plan. The police side explained that if the FOP does not sign the new plan, they would have to use the $435,000 in reserve to cushion the loss. The FOP’s contract with the current health plan terminates in 2015.

If the FOP signs on to the new health care plan, $700,000 would be saved

If the FOP signs on to the new health care plan, $700,000 would be saved

The LPD team also said that the closure of the South Precinct significantly helped to reduce costs. Szymanski added that since the installation of the Data Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety crime has been reduced notably. She also said that the last of the police officers fired in 2011, has been hired back.

The police said adding a cold case detective would cost approximately $100,000. Lansing has had 25 cold cases in 10 years.

Szymanski will no longer take part in the budget discussions due to her retirement. Mike Yankowski has become the next police chief for LPD.

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